PM Modi's visit to the United Arab Emirates

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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • India – UAE Bilateral Relationship
  • Political relations between India and UAE
  • Trade Relation between India and UAE
  • Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and UAE
  • Investment between India and UAE
  • NRI Remittances from UAE to India
  • Energy Cooperation between India and UAE
  • News Summary: PM Mod's visit to the United Arab Emirates
  • Key pacts signed
  • Other highlights of the visit

Why in news?

  • PM Modi is on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates. This is his seventh visit to the UAE since 2015 and the third in the last eight months.

India – UAE Bilateral Relationship

Political relations

  • India and the UAE established diplomatic relations in 1972. Since then, their relationship has grown manifold.
  • In January 2017, India and UAE signed a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement.
  • The strong bilateral relations have received impetus from time-to-time with exchange of high-level visits from both sides.
    • In February 2019, UAE invited India as the "Guest of Honour” to address the Inaugural Plenary of 46th Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
    • PM Modi paid his third visit to the UAE in August 2019. He was awarded the highest civilian award of UAE called 'Order of Zayed'.
    • Crown Prince of UAE visited India for the second time in January 2017 as the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations.
  • The foundation stone laying ceremony for the first traditional Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi was held in April 2019.
  • In February 2022, PM Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a Virtual Summit.
    • Both the leaders issued a Joint Vision Statement – “Advancing the India and UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: New Frontiers, New Milestone”.
  • UAE was the guest country at G-20, being held under India’s presidency.

Trade Relation

  • India-UAE trade rose to USD 85 billion in 2022-23, making the UAE India’s third-largest trading partner for 2022-23 and India’s second-largest export destination.
    • India is the UAE’s second largest trading partner.
  • Both the countries are expecting to achieve the target of USD 100 billion in trade before the G-20 meeting in Delhi in September 2023.

Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and UAE

  • India-UAE CEPA was signed on 18 February 2022 in New Delhi during the India-UAE Virtual Summit.
    • In March 2022, India announced the unveiling of the CEPA with the UAE.
  • It covers almost all the tariff lines dealt in by India (11,908 tariff lines) and the UAE (7581 tariff lines)

Investment

  • Since the signing of CEPA, UAE has emerged as the fourth largest investor in India during 2022-23.It was seventh largest investor in 2021-22.
  • In the last fiscal, FDI from the UAE to India jumped over three-fold to $3.35 billion from $1.03 billion in 2021-22.

NRI Remittances from UAE to India

  • The annual remittances made by the large Indian community in UAE (estimated to be around 3.3 million) amount to US$ 17.56 billion for year 2018.

Energy Cooperation

  • In 2017, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL) signed an MoU to establish a strategic crude oil reserve in the city of Mangalore (Karnataka).
  • ADNOC is also involved in exploring the possibility of storing its crude oil at ISPRL’s underground oil storage facility at Padur in Karnataka.
  • A consortium led by ONGC including Indian Oil and Bharat Petro Resources, has been awarded a 10 per cent stake in the Lower Zakum Concession.

News Summary: PM Mod's visit to the United Arab Emirates

  • During his visit to UAE, PM Narendra Modi met UAE’s President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
  • During this meeting, India and the UAE signed eight pacts to bolster cooperation in key areas.

Key pacts signed

  • Bilateral Investment Treaty Signed
    • Bilateral Investment Treaty was signed by the two sides. This agreement will be a key enabler for further promoting investments in both countries.
  • Energy cooperation
    • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has also been signed on cooperation in the field of electrical interconnection and trade.
    • This opens new areas of collaboration in the field of energy, including energy security and energy trade.
  • Fostering regional connectivity
    • For the IMEC, first announced during the G20 Summit 2023, India and the UAE have formed an "Intergovernmental Framework Agreement.
    • This would build on previous understandings and cooperation on this matter and foster India and the UAE cooperation furthering regional connectivity.
  • MoU on cooperation in Digital Infrastructure Projects
    • This will create a framework for a wide-ranging cooperation, including investment cooperation, in the digital infrastructure sector.
    • It will also facilitate sharing of technical knowledge, skills and expertise.
  • Agreement on interlinking of the instant payment platforms - UPI (India) and AANI (UAE):
    • This will facilitate seamless cross-border transactions between the two countries.
    • This follows the MoU on interlinking payment and messaging systems signed in July 2023 during Hon’ble PM’s visit to Abu Dhabi.
  • Agreement on inter-linking domestic debit/credit cards - RuPay (India) with JAYWAN (UAE):
    • This will enhance the universal acceptance of RuPay across the UAE.
  • Cooperation protocol between the National Archives of the two countries
    • This protocol will shape extensive bilateral cooperation in this field including restoration and preservation of archival material.
  • MoU for cooperation in the field of heritage and museums
    • This would foster engagement between the two countries aimed at supporting of the Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal, Gujarat.

Other highlights of the visit

  • Interaction at the Indian Community Event - "AHLAN MODI" in UAE
    • PM Modi addressed the Indian community in the UAE at 'AHLAN MODI', an event organized in his honour by the Indian community in the UAE.
  • Temple inauguration
    • On February 14, PM Modi will inaugurate the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Mandir.
      • This is the first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi.
      • BAPS a denomination of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, a Vaishnav sect of Hinduism.
    • Features of the temple
      • The Abu Dhabi temple is a traditional stone Hindu temple with 7 shikhars.
        • 7 shikhars (spires) are representative of 7 Emirates of the UAE.
      • Built in the traditional Nagar style, the temple’s front panel depicts universal values, stories of harmony from different cultures, Hindu spiritual leaders and avatars.
      • The height of the temple is 108 ft, length 262 ft and width 180 ft. While the external facade uses pink sandstone from Rajasthan, the interior uses Italian marbles.
      • Apart from 15 value tales from Indian civilisation, stories from the Maya civilisation, Aztec civilisation, Egyptian civilisation, Arabic civilisation, European civilisation, Chinese civilisation and African civilisation have been depicted.

Q1) What is Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)?

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is a state-owned oil company in the United Arab Emirates. ADNOC was established in 1971 and is the world's 12th largest oil producer, producing 12% of the world's oil and gas. 

Q2) What is Order of Zayed?

The Order of Zayed is the United Arab Emirates' highest civil decoration named after the first president of the UAE, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.


Source: India, UAE ink pacts on linking digital payment platforms, trade, energy | MEA | Money Control | The Hindu | Indian Express