The visit of crown prince is next highest level visit from the Gulf region which is extremely important for India as it is home to 7 million Indians, the source of nearly 60 percent of our energy needs, one of our largest export destinations and a major source of remittances. And this region also has a very strong bearing on India’s security and stability in our neighbourhood.
Traditionally, India’s predominant interests in the UAE have been to expand trade and economicpartnership, to secure inward and long-term energy supplies and the continued welfare of our large community which resides there. India and the UAE are among each other’s largest trading partners. UAE is the sixth largest source of imports of crude oil. It hosts 2.6 million-strong Indian expatriate community and we have a robust bilateral investment relationship as well.
The visit takes place after India decided to elevate her relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership during prime minister’s visit to UAE in August 2015 Some new agreed areas of cooperation are, the production of defence equipment in India, strategic partnership in security, in counter-terrorism, cooperation in nuclear and the space sector, in energy sector, including renewable energy.
UAE is India’s third largest trading partner after the United States and China. Bilateral trade is nearly $60 billion and it is our second largest export destination.UAE is also among the top 10 investors in India since 2000, with a cumulative Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of $3.3 billion. It is also estimated that the UAE has invested about $5 billion in portfolio investments into India. The UAE controls the second largest Sovereign Wealth Fund in the world which is around $800 billion USD under Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, ADIA, as it is called, and this is an important source of investment for the Indian infrastructure sector.
India and UAE also signed an agreement on security cooperation. A joint security committee was then set up under the agreement and this meets regularly. It is agreed to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism operations, intelligence sharing and capacity building. There is a strong convergence between both the countries on the issue of terrorism. UAE is playing a very important role in sending people who are suspected to join ISIS.