(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Abu Dhabi February 10 (QNA) - Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan will arrive in New Delhi Wednesday on the first official visit to India heading a high-ranking delegation of seven ministers government officials economists and nearly 100 business executives.
The Crown Prince is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian officials in the capital on Thursday. He is also expected to visit India’s President Pranab Mukherjee and travel to Mumbai for the Invest in India symposium.
UAE and Indian media cited growing energy and economic relations following the three-day visit as the two countries are expected to sign at least 16 agreements across sectors such as energy information technology aerospace and railways which will see investments worth billions of dollars by the UAE into India.
Out of the 16 agreements "almost 12 have been finalized and [are] ready for signature" Dr. Ahmed Al Banna the UAE Ambassador to India said on Monday. The agreements he added will create "a huge investment portfolio" in the Indian energy sector in particular.
The visit comes six months after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to the UAE to strengthen bilateral ties and increase investments between the two countries. Following the visit the two countries decided to promote a strategic partnership in the energy sector including through UAE’s participation in India in the development of strategic petroleum reserves upstream and downstream petroleum sectors and collaboration in third countries.
About 2.6 million Indians live in the UAE and they account for nearly US$15 billion of remittances into India every year.India is also hungry for foreign investment and Modi canvassed the UAE’s investors actively during his August visit. By the end of that trip the two countries announced a $75bn fund to develop infrastructure in India.
At the moment the UAE is the 10th biggest foreign investor and the biggest Arab investor in India with investments of roughly $10 billion. Of this around $3.3 billion is in the form of foreign direct investment while the remainder is comprised of portfolio investments.
India and the UAE also plan to boost bilateral trade by 60 per cent by 2020 to a value of $100 billion. A forecast from the UAE’s ministry of economy predicts that India will become the UAE’s biggest export market by 2030 absorbing 14 per cent of all goods exported. (QNA)