India, UAE raise bar, sign investment treaty

India and the UAE, the Gulf powerhouse, have raised the bar for their burgeoning partnership by signing a clutch of pacts, including a bilateral investment treaty and a landmark pact on a trans-regional trade corridor.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with the UAE’s President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on February 13 to further deepen the bilateral strategic partnership.

The two leaders held one-on-one and delegation level talks in Abu Dhabi and discussed steps to deepen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership across sectors, including trade and investment, digital infrastructure, fintech, energy, infrastructure, culture and people-to- people ties. Discussions also covered regional and global issues.

The two leaders witnessed the exchange of the following pacts:

Bilateral Investment Treaty: This agreement will be a key enabler for further promoting investments in both countries. India has signed both a Bilateral Investment Treaty and a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with UAE.

MoU on cooperation in the field of electricity interconnection and trade: This opens new areas of collaboration in the field of energy, including energy security and energy trade.

Inter-governmental Framework Agreement concerning Cooperation for the Empowerment and Operation of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor : This would build on previous understandings and cooperation on this matter and foster India and the UAE cooperation furthering regional connectivity.

MoU on Cooperation in Digital Infrastructure Projects : This will create a framework for a wide ranging cooperation, including investment cooperation, in the digital infrastructure sector and also facilitate sharing of technical knowledge, skills and expertise.

Cooperation Protocol between the National Library and Archives of the UAE and the National Archives of India : This protocol will shape extensive bilateral cooperation in this field including restoration and preservation of archival material.


MoU on Development of National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) : This would foster engagement between the two countries aimed at supporting of the Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal, Gujarat.

Agreement on interlinking of the instant payment platforms – UPI (India) and AANI (UAE) : This will facilitate seamless cross-border transactions between the two countries. This follows the MoU on interlinking payment and messaging systems signed in July last year during Hon’ble PM’s visit to Abu Dhabi.

Agreement on inter-linking domestic debit/credit cards – RuPay (India) with JAYWAN (UAE) : An important step in building financial sector cooperation, this will enhance the universal acceptance of RuPay across the UAE.

The agreement on the India-Middle East Economic Corridor came amid the festering war in Gaza that has derailed the US-backed plans to further integrate Israel with its Arab neighbours. Saudi Arabia has halted normalisation plans.

“Today, our region is going through a difficult time but because of our relationship with you, we are building a lot of hope and looking forward to a future with India that is on par with our ambitions,” Sheikh Mohamed said at a meeting with Modi on Tuesday, according to a video shared on Modi’s YouTube channel.

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