Modi to visit UAE on Jan 6

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India and the UAE are commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2022, and the visit of the Indian Prime Minister is expected to further deepen cooperation in different areas…reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make his first official trip in 2022 to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on January 6.

India and the UAE are commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2022, and the visit of the Indian premier is expected to focus on deepening partnerships in new areas.

Modi will sign a trade deal between India and UAE and visit India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which has attracted more than 6 lakh visitors in nearly three months. Meanwhile, several agreements in different areas are likely to be signed during the visit.

India and the UAE are also engaged in negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) and are hoping to complete the talks by March next year.

The UAE is also home to more than three million Indians who are a key source of remittances.

The Indian prime minister had visited UAE three times –  in 2015, 2018 and 2019. UAE had also conferred the highest civilian award ‘the Order of Zayed’ on Modi.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, visited India in February 2016 and again in January 2017 as the Chief Guest at India’s Republic day celebrations.

For UAE, India was the second-largest trading partner during 2018 with US$ 36 billion (non-oil trade). UAE has committed $100 Billion for investment and infrastructure creation in India, according to reports.

 Gujarat investor summit

The UAE will participate in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2022 as a “Partner Country,” the organisers of the Summit have announced.

UAE-India flag

“India and UAE share a close friendship and this partnership for Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2022 will boost bilateral relations,” said the announcement made in Gandhinagar, capital of one of India’s most business-friendly states.

This will be the third time that the UAE will be participating in the Summit as a Partner Country. The biennial gathering brings together captains of global business, thought leaders and policy-makers to explore business opportunities in the state located in western India.

The idea of the summit was conceptualised in 2003 after Narendra Modi became Chief Minister of Gujarat. It has continued as a catalyst in making Gujarat a preferred investment destination within India even after Modi became India’s Prime Minister.

Bhupendrabhai Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat, was in the UAE earlier this month to promote the Summit among UAE businessmen and investors. Patel had extensive meetings in several emirates during the visit.

Most popular tourist destination

The UAE is the most popular destination in the world for Indian tourists, according to figures submitted to Parliament by the Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan.

Muraleedharan said 314,495 Indians left on tourist visas for the UAE in the first quarter of this year, the latest period for which figures were made available to Members of Parliament (MPs).

This represented an increase of slightly more than 50 percent over the corresponding period last year until India suspended all international passenger traffic into and out of the country on 23rd March 2020 following the global outbreak of COVID-19.

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The MPs queried the Minister only for the first quarter of this year and the corresponding period last year because flight stoppages caused by the pandemic made data for the remaining periods of both 2020 and 2021 redundant. For most of this year too flights out of India were few because of a second wave of COVID-19 that hit the country.

But the popularity of the UAE among Indian tourists is clear from the figures for the period when flights were going back and forth in the first three months of this year albeit on a reduced scale under bilateral “bubble” arrangements.