India would propose joint investment and development of infrastructure projects with the UAE when external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj visits the Asian nation.
India enjoys close ties with the UAE. The bilateral trade amounted to $59 billion in 2013-14. It is the 11th largest in terms of FDI in India. The UAE contributes significantly to India’s energy security and is the sixth largest supplier of crude oil to India Trade and economic relations would be on the agenda when Swaraj meets her counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Dubai during her two-day trip starting Monday. The leaders would strengthen trade talks again at the 4th edition of the Indo-Arab Partnership meet in New Delhi later this month.
According to a former envoy to the region, “In the next 20 years, South-South relationships based on increased economic and strategic cooperation are expected to become more important to the world economy and in this context the relationship between India and the UAE could be a leading example.”
India’s infrastructure needs are huge, with about 48% of India’s $1-trillion need coming from the private sector. The Gulf countries are well placed to help India, especially in this sector.
In 2013, the UAE promised $2 billion for infrastructure in India.
Though the UAE has expressed keenness to participate in India’s infrastructure projects, including roads, railways and soft infrastructure, deepening economic cooperation is not a one-way street.
The Arab nation is expected to spend heavily on transport and logistics infrastructure in preparation for Expo 2020. This has opened huge opportunities for more Indian companies to participate there.
India is expected to become the UAE’s biggest export destination by 2030, when it is forecast to account for an estimated 14% of goods. Increased inward investment from the UAE could help India create the conditions for growth in the long term.
The recent decision by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) to purchase two hydropower assets in Himachal Pradesh, making it the largest private operator of hydroelectric plants in India, reasserts the logic of growing investments in India from the UAE.