On July 15, 2023, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister (PM) of India, officially visited Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). This mark’s his 5th visit to UAE since 2015.
He was welcomed by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the airport and a ceremonial welcome and Guard of Honour were accorded to Modi.
- During his visit, PM Modi met with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan President of the UAE, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Here are the visit highlights:
PM meeting with Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of CoP28
During the visit, the Indian PM met Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of CoP28 (Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) and Group CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.
i.The discussions took place on the forthcoming COP-28 of UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) under UAE’s Presidency where Indian side committed its full support to UAE for its COP-28 Presidency.
ii.The PM highlighted India’s efforts and initiatives to address climate change, including International SolarAlliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, International Year of Millets and Mission Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE).
iii.The discussions also covered energy cooperation between India and UAE.
RBI, CBUAE sign pacts to promote use of INR, UAE dirham for cross-border transactions
During the visit, two agreements were inked between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE) to facilitating seamless cross border transactions and payments, and foster greater economic cooperation between the two countries.
The agreements were signed by the RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, and Governor of the Central Bank of UAE, Khaled Mohamed Balama in the presence of PM Narendra Modi and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.
The MoU are as follows:
i.Establishing a Framework to Promote the Use of Local Currencies viz. the Indian rupee (INR) and the UAE Dirham (AED) for cross-border transactions
This MoU aims to put in place a Local Currency Settlement System (LCSS) to promote the use of INR and AED bilaterally by covering covers all current account transactions and permitted capital account transactions.
- The LCSS creation facilitates domestic currency invoicing and payment for exporters and importers, fostering an INR-AED forex market. It encourages investments and remittances between both nations while minimizing transaction costs and settlement time, benefiting Indian residents in the UAE.
ii.Cooperation for interlinking their payment and messaging systems
Under this, both Central Banks agreed to cooperate on the following
i. Linking their Fast Payment Systems (FPSs) – Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India with Instant Payment Platform (IPP) of UAE for fast, convenient, safe, and cost-effective cross-border funds transfers
ii. Linking the respective Card Switches (RuPay switch and UAESWITCH) to facilitate mutual acceptance of domestic cards and processing of card transactions.
iii. Exploring the linking of payments messaging systems i.e., Structured Financial Messaging System (SFMS) of India with the messaging system in the UAE to facilitate bilateral financial messaging between the two countries, bypassing the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) messaging system.
India signs MoU with Education and Knowledge dept of Abu Dhabi for setting up IIT Delhi campus
IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Delhi inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) and the Ministry of Education, Government of India, to set up its international campus in Abu Dhabi.
- This MoU is on the lines of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed between the top leadership of the two countries in early 2022.
- The MoU was signed in the presence of PM Narendra Modi and His Excellency Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.
i.IIT Delhi – Abu Dhabi aims to be a research-focused campus offering undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral degrees, contributing to Abu Dhabi and UAE’s research and academic ecosystem.
ii.Starting 2024, IIT Delhi – Abu Dhabi will provide diverse programs in Energy and Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science and Engineering, Healthcare, Mathematics and Computing, and other disciplines. Details will be announced later. It has already initiated outreach programs for UAE school students and plans to launch industry-focused short courses and executive programs soon.
IOC inks long term LNG import pact deals with ADNOC LNG, TotalEnergies
A Head of Agreement (HoA) was signed between India’s Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Limited to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from UAE’s Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Co (Adnoc) Ltd and TotalEnergies of France on a long-term basis.
i.This is the first long-term deal TotalEnergies has signed with an Indian company.
ii.Also, this is the first time an Indian company has signed a long-term LNG import deal with.
iii.Under this, IOC will import 1.2 million tonnes per annum of LNG from Adnoc-LNG for 14 years starting in 2026.
- It should be noted that under Indian and UAE CEPA, UAE Govt which provides for zero customs duty to be applied on LNG imports from UAE against an applicable customs duty of 2.5 per cent plus surcharge.
iv.The deal with TotalEnergies is for the import of 0.8 million tonnes a year of LNG for 10 years starting in 2026.
Recent Related News:
i.State-owned Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) has introduced its solar-powered hybrid boat “Sooryamshu”, a first-of-its-kind tourist boat in Kerala, in Kochi backwaters, Kerala. The boat built by the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Solas Marine Services Group was named Sooryamshu after the Hindi translation of “Sunbeam.”
ii.The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed a host member agreement with
the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to establish its first overseas office, an Interim Operational Hub, at Abu Dhabi Global Market, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
About United Arab Emirates (UAE):
President– Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Currency– UAE Dirham
Capital– Abu Dhabi