UAE seeks to boost economic, energy ties with India

June 12th, 2009 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) In the first visit here by a foreign minister since the formation of the new government in India, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan Friday called for scaling up economic and energy ties and sought New Delhi’s help to develop renewable energy.
The UAE’s foreign minister, who ended his two-day visit to India Friday, met his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna and discussed a further expansion of multi-faceted bilateral relations.

They also discussed a host of regional and global issues, including terrorism and global economic downturn and focused on new avenues of cooperation, especially in the domain of trade and economy.

Sheikh Al Nahyan lauded the role of over 1.5 million Indians in the UAE for their contribution to the development of the Gulf country’s economy and building better relations between the two countries.

He also met Minister of New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah and called on Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

The focus of the visit was on expanding economic and energy ties between the two countries. “The visiting dignitary also conveyed that UAE was looking for more opportunities for investment in the infrastructure and other areas in India,” the external affairs ministry said here.

The UAE has invested over $4.5 billion in India and is among the top 10 investors. The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in the energy sector, especially in the renewable sources of energy.

Sheikh Al Nahyan invited the Indian vice-president and foreign minister to visit the Gulf country.

Renewable energy has emerged as an important area of engagement between the two countries. The UAE’s foreign minister sought India’s expertise in this area and sought New Delhi’s support for locating the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA) in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE has committed $50 million per year over next seven years to finance renewable energy projects in developing nations as recommended by IRENA. The UAE will also provide $135 million cash and in-kind support to the IRENA during its initial years of operations, followed by a steady government support of more than $2 million annually.

“Since ages, India has had good relations with UAE. The UAE minister expressed confidence that working together in the renewable energy sector will bring India and UAE much closer,” Farooq Abdullah said.

The UAE is competing with three European countries to host the headquarters of the IREA.

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