UAE-India looking to increase trade partnerships
Top officials from the UAE Ministry of Finance will hold bilateral investment promotion agreement (BIPA) discussions with its Indian counterparts on Wednesday, M.K. Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, told Gulf News.
He said the talks will not only give a big boost to foreign investment but also protect it.
The last round of negotiations were held in 2007 and it got stopped.
“The Indian government was trying to reformat the agreement in a global level. That is why all BIPAs were put on hold. At the same time, the UAE government also had some issues,” Lokesh said after announcing details of the Indian Trade Fair Dubai 2013 which is to be held in Dubai from September 3-5.
In light of some of the investments made by some UAE companies in India, he said that these agreements will be useful in generating confidence for investors. That is why the talks are going to be resumed.
The bilateral trade between India and UAE stood at $180 million per annum in the 1970s but today it is close to $75 billion making the UAE, India’s second largest trading partner for the year 2012-2013.
The trade between India and Gulf region stood at $145 billion in 2011-2012 and it is expected to cross $175 billion.
Both the countries had agreed to start talks on BIPA when Indian Finance Minister P.Chidamabaram visited the UAE in May.
During his stay, Chidamabaram met top officials and discussed the scope of investing in the infrastructure sector which needs $1 trillion in the next five years. Out of $1 trillion, 50 per cent is expected from private sector or foreign investors.
In the first meeting of the bilateral taskforce held in February, the UAE had promised the allocation of $2 billion in infrastructure investment, but for this to happen Lokesh said that an agreement has to be in place.
He said that these agreements will increase exports, decrease barriers to trade and boost investment.
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