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In this article, we will take a look at the highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on August 16th and 17th.
Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit UAE after Indira Gandhi who visited the country in 1981.
India and UAE share longstanding cordial relations. India is UAE’s second largest trading partner and UAE is India’s third largest trading partner. Indian workers compose nearly 30% (over 2.5 million) of UAE’s population, annually remitting over $13 billion to India.
In this two-day visit, India and UAE agreed to cooperate in several key areas such as trade and investment, counter-terrorism, maritime security and intelligence sharing and defence, among others.
Key achievements of PM Modi’s UAE visit:
* UAE to aid India’s energy growth- A joint statement by the two governments stated that UAE would help India develop strategic petroleum reserves, upstream and downstream petroleum sectors and promote collaboration in the area of renewable energy.
- UAE supports India’s bid for a permanent UNSC seat – India has made a bid for permanent seat at the United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC) and has been rallying support from neighbouring nations for the same. During the visit UAE confirmed its support for India’s bid.
- Temple in Abu Dhabi – One of the landmark outcomes was UAE government’s decision to allot land for construction of a temple in Abu Dhabi soon after Modi’s visit. Though the Arab nation has temples, there is none in the capital city. This move is thus a great news for UAE’s Indian diaspora.
- E-portal for Indian migrant workers: On August 16, Modi visited a labour camp in Abu Dhabi and announced creation of the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) to help Indians get financial aid to fight legal cases. He also announced that an e-migrant portal called MADAD will be launched to address problems of Indian migrant workers.
- Establishing security dialogue – To strengthen defence cooperation, both nations have decided to begin “strategic security dialogue”. The National Security Advisers and National Security Councils of both the countries will meet every six months for the same. Further, there will be mutual cooperation in combating terrorism, money laundering, drug trafficking, and other trans-national crimes. Both the state heads also agreed to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean region, which is vital for the security and prosperity of both countries.
- Tackling terrorism – Leaders of the two countries have agreed to cooperate in counter-terrorism operations, intelligence sharing and capacity building, especially considering the rise of Islamic State militant group in West Asia.
- Boosting trade ties – As per the Indian Embassy, UAE is India’s third largest trading partner, just behind the US and China. Thus, both the countries have agreed to boost trade by 60 percent in the next five years.
- UAE to make an investment worth $75 billion in India – This investment would be accounted in the UAE – India Infrastructure Investment Fund, which will be utilised for construction of railways, ports, roads, airports, industrial corridors, etc.
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