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The Embassy - Press Releases - UAE-India meet reviews bilateral investments
Press Releases
High-level joint task force discusses progress on a number of issues, projects

The second meeting of the UAE-India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments (HLTFI), which was held here on Monday, saw wide-ranging discussions on priority sectors of engagement for channeling investments between the two countries.

Shaikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), led the UAE delegation and co-chaired the HLTFI meeting with Anand Sharma, Indian Minister for Commerce and Industry.

“We have today advanced the work of the joint task force, and laid the foundation for further mutually beneficial investments and areas of common interest,” said Shaikh Hamed at the end of the discussions.

More than 30 government and private sector representatives from both countries were present at the meeting. The HLTFI was established in April 2012 as a platform to address mutual issues associated with existing investments between the two countries and to promote and facilitate cross-border investments.

“We look forward to the ratification of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA), and the resolution of the outstanding issues identified at our first meeting. Together, our combined efforts will help to further strengthen bilateral trade relations and pave the way for continued strategic dialogue.”

Sharma underlined India’s status as a major destination for foreign investments and the opportunities that exist for the UAE, especially in infrastructure areas such as roads and highways, power and utilities, civil aviation, ports, renewable energy and urban infrastructure, and participation through infrastructure debt funds.

He also highlighted India’s desire to participate in the hydrocarbon sector in the UAE, especially in the upstream petroleum sector. Sharma also saw greater opportunities for UAE investors as strategic partners in India’s growth story.

The HLTFI’s first meeting was held in February 2013 in Abu Dhabi, resulting in wide-ranging discussion on matters of mutual interest including the identification of priority sectors of engagement for possible investments in the two countries. The HLTFI’s work to strengthen and develop bilateral relations in investments culminated in the signing in December 2013 of the BIPPA, serving as a platform for promotion and reciprocal legal protection of investments in both countries.

After the Abu Dhabi meet last February, several joint working groups were set up to address issues of mutual interest in sectors including infrastructure, investment and trade, energy, manufacturing and technology, aviation, information and communication technology and legacy issues.

At Monday’s meeting here, an action plan was agreed to expedite progress across all these joint working groups, according to an Indian government spokesperson.

The task force also discussed several key issues. One of them related to the support for the establishment of a strategic petroleum reserve in India in a manner serving the common strategic interests of both countries and based on the principles of long term strategic partnership and cooperation.

Another important issue that was discussed related to expediting the resolution of current pending issues associated with existing UAE investments in India, including those of Etisalat, Emaar and DP World. A plan of action was agreed for the legacy issues sub-working group to address and resolve these matters.
The task force also acknowledged the emergence of a consortium led by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa), the international energy and water company from Abu Dhabi — which has just acquired two hydroelectric plants in India — as the largest private operator of hydroelectric plants in India. The acquisition follows the signing of the UAE-India BIPPA and a commitment made by the UAE at the first HLTFI meet in Abu Dhabi to invest $2 billion in India’s infrastructure sector.

The consortium, in which Taqa has a 51 per cent stake, is investing $616 million in the two plants in Himachal Pradesh. It is acquiring the plants from Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd, a subsidiary of Indian infrastructure conglomerate, Jaypee group. The consortium will also acquire the assets’ non-recourse project debt.

The UAE delegation at the HLTFI also invited Indian companies in the renewable energy area to meet with Masdar, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala Development Company, to discuss potential investments.

The UAE and India are significant trading partners and bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to continue growing over the years. Valued at a mere $180 million annually during the 1970s, bilateral trade between the two countries now adds up to over $75 billion, making the UAE, India’s largest trading partner in 2012-13. The UAE also ranks among the top-10 investors in India in terms of FDI.

The HLTFI seeks to achieve a similar growth path for investments with a clear roadmap between the two countries.

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