PM Modi’s UAE visit concludes with inking of MoUs for financial payments, education

Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his three-day visit to France and the United Arab Emirates.
PM Modi’s UAE visit concludes with inking of MoUs for financial payments, education

 India’s G20 presidency will play important role in combating climate change, say India, UAE

ABU DHABI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his three-day visit to France and the United Arab Emirates.

In the last leg of the visit, Prime Minister arrived in Abu Dhabi to a warm welcome by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Prime Minister also inspected the ceremonial Guard of Honour with Sheikh Mohamed at the magnificent Qasr Al Watan. The two leaders held wide-ranging talks on bilateral and global issues.

"I feel like I am at my second home. I thank you for the cordial welcome you gave to me and my delegation,"said PM Modi. "Our bilateral trade has grown by 20 per cent. For the first time, we have achieved USD 85 billion in trade and soon we will achieve the target of USD 100 billion. If we decide, we can cross this milestone before the G20," said PM Modi.

Recalling last year's visit, when the UAE President received him at the airport, PM Modi said, "Last year during my visit, you yourself came to the airport to meet me. There cannot be a greater proof of affinity than the respect that you have given to me. I have always received brotherly affection from you and have always felt your commitment to policies."

PM further said that in the last few years, relations between India and UAE have expanded because of a huge contribution from the UAE side. "In the last few years, our relations have expanded and there is a huge contribution from your side. Your vision and clear thinking is the biggest strength for this nation. That is why everyone looks at you like a true friend," PM Modi added. "We are taking new initiatives to strengthen our partnership. Today's agreement on trade settlement in the currencies of both countries reflects our strong economic cooperation and trust," he said.

PM Modi received a dazzling welcome in UAE as the iconic Burj Khalifa was lit up in the colours of the Indian national flag. As a part of the light-and-sound show the skyscraper also showcased PM Modi's picture, followed by 'Welcome Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi'.

During the visit, the two leaders witnessed the exchange of three historic Memoranda of Understanding (MoU). A MoU was exchanged for the establishment of a campus of IIT Delhi in Abu Dhabi between the Indian Ministry of Education, UAE's Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT).

This is the first ever IIT to be set up in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. This is a landmark project which reflects the vision of the leaders and it will be a tribute to the people of India and the UAE who are the backbone of the historic relationship. The idea behind setting up of IIT campus in Abu Dhabi is to bring the academic excellence of IITs to the wide international community. The campus aspires to be a truly global campus which will also benefit the large Indian diaspora in the UAE and the region.

"This marks a significant stride in our educational internationalisation and is testament to India's innovation prowess. Education is the bond that unites us, it's the spark that ignites innovation. Together, we will leverage this power for mutual prosperity and global betterment," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

MoU on Local Currency Settlement (LCS) System was signed between the Reserve Bank of India and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates enabling the use of Indian Rupee (INR) and UAE Dirham (AED) for cross-border transactions. This is India's first-ever LCS and is expected to reduce transaction costs and time and increase reliance on local currencies. This will further add to the preferential terms accruing from Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The traders can choose the payment currency based on mutual agreement. Further, the surplus balance in local currencies can be used for investing in local currency assets like corporate bonds, Government securities, equity markets etc. LCS is likely to have a transformational impact not only on the bilateral economic relationship but in larger economic engagements across the world.

Under the newly-implemented LCS system, the first transaction involved the sale of 25 kg of gold from a leading UAE gold exporter invoiced at approx Rs 12.84 crore. Gold, gems and jewellery are the second most traded commodities between India and the UAE. Last year, the two-way trade between India and UAE was worth USD 20 billion which was about 42 per cent of total non-oil trade between the two countries.

The two leaders also witnessed the exchange of MoU on bilateral cooperation on interlinking the payment and messaging systems between the Reserve Bank of India and the Central Bank of the UAE. The MoU will facilitate the integration Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India and the Instant Payments Platform (IPP) of the UAE. It will also facilitate interlinking card switches of the two countries - RuPay switch and UAESWITCH to facilitate the mutual acceptance of their domestic cards and processing of card transactions directly without relying on any other network.

Very importantly, the Central Bank of the UAE could benefit from the Structured Financial Messaging System (SFMS) developed by RBI. These linkages are also expected to further facilitate the LCS technique in the long run by providing an alternate payment-switching system.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan affirmed that India's G20 presidency will play an important role in accelerating cooperation in combating climate change, said the India-UAE joint statement on Climate Change.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan recognized the urgent need to address the global challenge of climate change through global collective action while respecting the foundational principles and obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on the Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, the joint press release on climate change said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the UAE as the selected host country of COP28 in 2023 and extended his full support to the UAE's COP28 Incoming Presidency. President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in turn, congratulated India for its leadership role in the G20.

Both leaders affirmed the importance and significance of India's G20 presidency and affirmed the G20's role in fostering and accelerating cooperation in combating climate change, with emphasis on finance and technology as critical enablers, as well as on just, inclusive and sustainable energy transitions, the joint statement said. The leaders committed to enhancing cooperation on climate ambition, decarbonization, and clean energy, and work together to have tangible and meaningful outcomes from the 28th Session of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties. Both leaders also urgently called upon the international community to expedite efforts in order to preserve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement through the fulfilment of nationally determined contributions and the display of solidarity and support. ANI

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