India, UAE sign currency swap deal; seek to forge partnership in new areas at Joint Commission Meeting
India and the UAE Tuesday signed two agreements, including one on currency swap, as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held exhaustive discussions with her counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed to step up bilateral cooperation in areas like security, defence, counter-terrorism, trade and energy.
Swaraj, who arrived in Abu Dhabi on Monday on a two-day visit, was received by Abdullah ahead of the UAE-India Joint Commission Meeting in Abu Dhabi.
“Advancing the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership...EAM SushmaSwaraj & Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan co-chaired 12th India-UAE JCM. Held exhaustive discussions on cooperation in energy, security, trade, investments, space, defence & consular, among others,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
This is the 12th session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting for Economic and Technical Cooperation.
“Institutional mechanisms guiding the multifaceted cooperation...Two documents signed during the visit of EAM SushmaSwaraj to UAE : Agreement on Currency Swap and MoU for Development Cooperation in Africa,” Kumar tweeted.
Currency Swap is such a pact between two countries that allows trading in their own currency and payments to import and export trade at pre-determined exchange rate without bringing in a third benchmark currency like the US dollars.
The second agreement would enable both sides to undertake development projects in Africa.
“Reinforcing the strong bonds of friendship...The ministers looked forward to continuing the trend to strengthen & seek partnership in new areas,” Kumar tweeted.
Later, an MEA official said the two leaders discussed several areas of mutual interests including defence, security, counter-terrorism, trade, economic, energy, science and technology, and civil aviation among others.
They identified several new areas of cooperation, the official said.
Following the meeting, the two leaders signed and adopted the agreed minutes of the JCM, Kumar said.
Swaraj also called on Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Both the leaders expressed satisfaction at the pace of the bilateral relations in a range of areas, attesting to the two countries comprehensive strategic partnership, Kumar said.
With nearly USD 50 billion bilateral trade, the two countries are one of the largest trade partners for each other and have made robust investments bilaterally. The UAE is the sixth-largest source of Indian oil imports and hosts a 3.3 million-strong Indian community.
Swaraj and Abdullah also jointly inaugurated a digital interactive museum showcasing the life, works and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and the founder of modern UAE Shaikh Zayed.
The Gandhi-Zayed Digital Museum, which will promote peace, tolerance and sustainability, is part of the celebrations by the two countries to mark 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and centenary celebrations of the birth of Shaikh Zayed.
Later in the evening, Swaraj interacted with the Indian community and appreciated their contribution in enhancing relations with the UAE.
UAE hosts a 33 lakh-strong Indian community – the largest number of Indians outside India.