Modi’s special stopovers with ‘friends’ UAE & France


PM Narendra Modi Photo Credit Twitter @narendramodi

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By S Jha

New Delhi, June 28: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown that he stretches his itineraries to meet friends during packed foreign travels.

On Tuesday, Modi made a brief stopover at Abu Dhabi. He was the first head of the government of a country to visit after the 40-day mourning in the United Arab Emirates got over following the demise of the former ruler of the country Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Modi was on his way back from the most watched out G7 Summit in Germany.

A month ago, Modi had made a similar stopover at Paris to meet the French President Emanuel Macron, who had recently been re-elected the President of France.

The UAE is India’s strategic ally, while being the third largest trading partner.

France is India’s foremost security partner, being the only western country, which has shown willingness to share the most advanced weapons system and also transfer the know-hows.

The UAE is India’s most trusted energy partner with whom New Delhi has signed a comprehensive economic cooperation pact, which is transforming the bilateral relations to new levels.

The bilateral trade in the last fiscal stood at USD 72 billion, with slight trade deficit against India. The UAE is also home to 35 lakh Indians. The Indian foreign currency reserve levels with the Reserve Bank of India stays healthy on account of remittances by such expatriates.

In the las fiscal, the UAE scaled up its investment in India, pacing ahead of France and Germany put together in the foreign direct investment flow, and is fast emerging as a strategic partner of New Delhi.

Soon, India, the UAE, Israel and the US will have a sport of a quadrilateral strategic meeting in an affirmation of the growing warm relations among the four countries.

Besides, the UAE for over the past years is busy diversifying its economy, embracing the digital infrastructure, which is being laid by a number of Indian companies with the help of India’s skilled manpower.

On Tuesday, Modi made his fourth visit to the UAE to offer his condolences to the demise of the former ruler of Abu Dhabi.

Incidentally, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu had already visited the country to represent India following the demise of the former ruler of the country.

Modi was received and seen off by the UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since August 2019 when Prime Minister visited Abu Dhabi last.

During their virtual summit on 18 February, both countries signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which has come in force on May 1. CEPA is expected to further boost trade and investment between both countries. UAE FDI in India has continuously increased over the past few years and currently stands at over USD 12 billion.

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