Prime Minister Narendra Modi on today said that he would seek to enhance cooperation in energy and trade and reach out to the investors there to promote India as an attractive business destination. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be looking to get the UAE to invest from its $800-billion sovereign wealth fund in Indian infrastructure and also will be looking at boosting oil trade with UAE.
“The Abu Dhabi Development Authority has a sovereign wealth fund of $800 billion. So far, they have only looked at the US and the European Union. We would be interested in getting them to invest in our infrastructure projects,” a source said. “Since they contribute about 9 per cent to the oil basket, it will be pertinent to augment the supply. This will be part of the Prime Minister’s agenda,” a source added.
According to government data, India-UAE trade, valued at $180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today around $60 billion, making UAE India’s third largest trading partner for 2014-15 after China and the US.
"I especially look forward to meeting the large community of Indian workers based in UAE. No words will be enough to appreciate their hard work and sweat over the last many years," the Prime Minister said.
"The economic strides taken by UAE are extremely admirable. UAE is a global economic success story that has attracted people from all over the world. UAE has also emerged as an important logistics hub. During my visit, I seek to enhance cooperation in energy, trade and will talk to investors about why India is an attractive destination to invest," he said.
"I will hold extensive talks with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, whose enlightened vision and farsightedness has taken UAE to new heights of development. I will meet His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and Prime Minister of UAE," Modi said.
"One of the places that I will visit in UAE is the Masdar City, a zero carbon city, which is an effort towards creating a cleaner and greener tomorrow," he added.
During his overnight visit, Modi will address a huge Indian gathering in the Dubai Cricket Ground, on the lines of the event held in Madison Square Garden in New York last year.
Nearly 48,000 Indians in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have so far registered for the public reception of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "As soon as we opened the registration, we received over 15,000 requests. The numbers swelled quickly and this (Wednesday) afternoon we had over 42,000 registrations completed successfully," B.R. Shetty, member of the organising committee, said. "We expect over 50,000 to register and our estimate on that day is an audience of 40,000 people, considering some of the registered people may not turn up," he added.
K.V.Shamsudheen, chairman, Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust, said that over 2.5 million Indian expatriates are expecting a lot from the vibrant Indian prime minister. "Indian expatriates have been demanding for several decades to stop exploitation of airlines by jacking up the airfares during peak season, but nothing has happened," said Shamsudheen. "We wish that the Prime Minister will utilise the skills of Indian skilled workers in the Middle East for the skill development programs of the Indian government," he added. "India needs huge sums for infrastructure development in India and if the rules are simplified for non-resident Indians then there will be a huge flow of investments from the Indian expatriates," he said.