Getting investment, especially in infrastructure sector, and special focus on diaspora ties will mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day, two-city visit to the United Arab Emirates on August 16 and 17.
Modi’s first visit to the Gulf region significantly comes ahead of President Pranab Mukherjee visiting Israel in October, the first by an Indian head of state to that country, ties with whom have considerable ramification on the domestic politics in India. Mukherjee will also visit Palestine and Jordan.
Investment, trade, energy and security are the areas the two sides are working on to have ‘substantial outcomes’ during Modi’s UAE visit, a country which has 2.6 million Indians working there.
The UAE, the sixth largest source of oil import to India, was the third largest trading partner of the country in 2014-15, after the US and China, with a bilateral trade of $60 billion.
In 2013, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) announced its plans of investing $2 billion in Indian infrastructure sector. “There are issues that need to be addressed in fast-tracking investment that we are doing,” said a source.
“Energy is another sector where investment can come,” he added. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha have visited UAE since the government came to power.