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India-UAE deepen bond, discuss food & energy security and Rupee-Dirham trade

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NEW DELHI : India and the United Arab Emirates held wide-ranging discussions on Tuesday on strengthening energy and food security linkages amid geopolitical upheavals. They also discussed launching bilateral trade in the national currencies, Rupee and Dirham.

External Affairs Minister Shri S Jaishankar met the Foreign Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Delhi. The meeting was also attended by the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem Al Hashimy, and India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra.

The foreign ministers appreciated the progress in bilateral relationship, especially in trade, investment, consular matters, education and food security, and discussed expanding partnership in these sectors, said officials.

The ministers noted that bilateral trade has shown appreciable growth under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which came into force on May 1. India’s exports to the UAE from April-September increased 24% year-to-year to $16 billion while India’s imports increased 38% year-on-year to $28.4 billion.

On food security cooperation under I2U2 (India-Israel-US-UAE), a delegation led by the CEO of ADQ visited India in October to take discussions forward with different stakeholders. IIT Delhi has held meetings with its Abu Dhabi partner, ADEK, for establishing IIT Delhi campus in Abu Dhabi.

Both sides have taken forward their discussions on other areas of cooperation, including energy, healthcare, defence, space, climate change, skills, fintech and startups.

On Tuesday, the foreign ministers also exchanged views on the global situation and various regional hotspots as well as cooperation between the two countries in the United Nations Security Council. Both India and UAE are currently non-permanent members of the UNSC.

Both countries are also discussing making use of UPI as a payment platform for remittances from the 3.5 million strong Indian community in the UAE.

Under I2U2, both countries are discussing investment of $2 billion from the UAE to develop food corridors in India and another $300 million for building a 300 GW hybrid (wind and solar) power plant. The UAE has been invited to attend the G20 Summit as a special invitee.

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