Modi to Visit Dubai Expo

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in the UAE in January 2022 to visit Expo 2020 and cement India’s bilateral ties with the friendliest Arab nation…reports Asian Lite News

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and UAE Minister of State Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi mentioned Modi’s forthcoming visit while addressing the India Global Conference in Dubai on Monday.

Sources in Delhi said the prime minister may add Kuwait to the itinerary. Since his first visit to UAE at the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in August 2015, Modi has been focused on cementing ties with Abu Dhabi.

EXPO 2020 DUBAI

UAE is India’s third largest trade partner after the US and China with the trade volumes touching over $60 billion. India-UAE is aiming to achieve a target of $100 billion by 2025.

The January 2022 trip will be Modi’s fourth to the UAE; before him, the last PM to visit the UAE was Indira Gandhi, 32 years before his first visit. The UAE is home to more than three million Indian expatriates, the largest ethnic community in the emirates comprising professionals and blue-collar workers and their families.

India and the UAE are currently preparing for the third round of negotiations on a proposed comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) that they hope to finalize in the first quarter of next year.

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The government has focused on strengthening strategic and energy ties with several West Asian countries, especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia. India, Israel, the UAE and the US recently held the first virtual meeting of their foreign ministers that focused on economic and business collaboration between the four countries. They are also working on holding the first in-person ministerial meeting of what has been described as a “new Quad”.

The new bloc is also expected to work on maritime security and infrastructure projects that leverage the strengths of the four countries. At the same time, India, Israel and the UAE have stepped up trilateral cooperation, especially after the signing of the Abraham Accords.