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India, UAE to strengthen mechanisms for exchange of information in tax matters

India and UAE have agreed to further strengthen their mechanisms for exchange of information in tax matters under the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, reviewed the progress in realizing the $75 billion target for UAE investments in India’s plans for rapid expansion of next generation infrastructure development.

“PM Modi invited UAE participation in India’s National Infrastructure Investment Master Fund as an anchor investor,” said a joint statement. “The two leaders agreed that the Joint Working Group formed under the MOU on the framework for facilitating the participation of UAE Institutional Investors in National Infrastructure Investment Fund should meet regularly to boost investment ties to realize the full potential,” the statement added.

Describing the existing Bilateral Investment Treaty of December 2013 a key framework for promotion of investments ties, the two leaders directed their respective ministries to commence renegotiations on the revised treaty text for early finalization. Keeping in view the importance of energy security as a key aspect of the strategic partnership, India and UAE expressed satisfaction at the current level of energy sector cooperation, acknowledging the latter as among the largest suppliers of crude oil to India. The two sides also agreed to focus on areas of training and human resources development and cooperation in R&D in the energy sector.

The two sides also welcomed the signing of the agreement on Oil Storage and Management between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited for the establishment of Strategic Petroleum Reserve in India during the visit. The two leaders agreed to expand their collaboration in the field of renewable energy and in the international negotiations on climate change, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and agreed to continue their strong support to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The two leaders reviewed the bilateral cooperation between the government agencies, private sector, civil society and academia in the field of climate change. They discussed possible investment opportunities for Masdar in India and potential areas of cooperation based upon the General Framework agreement for Cooperation in Renewable Energy signed in February 2016.

Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed reaffirmed support for Prime Minister Modi’s initiative on the new International Solar Alliance (ISA). Prime Minister Modi thanked the Crown Prince for UAE’s support during the ISA Steering Committee Meetings. They acknowledged the importance of ensuring synergies between the ISA and IRENA. In the area of space, Electronics and Information Technology (IT), the two sides underlining the ongoing space cooperation noted that the MOU on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes signed between ISRO and United Arab Emirates Space Agency in February 2016 established a practical framework for cooperation in the areas of space science, technology and applications including remote sensing; satellite communication and satellite based navigation.

The two leaders agreed that the joint working group established under the ambit of this MOU would meet during 2017 to explore a long-term plan to identify and implement projects of mutual interest. Prime Minister Modi expressed happiness at the UAE’s plan to launch a Mars Mission in 2021. The Indian side thanked UAE for its interest in proposal for establishing a semi-conductor fabrication facility in India. The two sides agreed to further business-to-business cooperation in Information Technology, Information Technology Enabled Services and Electronics System Design and Manufacturing.

In the sector of health and food security, both sides agreed to pursue opportunities in the health care industry including in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sectors and resolved to urge their private sectors to explore early participation in these areas. Prime Minister Modi and the Crown Prince agreed that ensuring food security remains an area of high priority for the two sides. The Indian side welcomed proposal from UAE for establishing food security parks, including through creation of high quality food processing infrastructure, integrated cold chain, value addition and preserving technology, packaging of food products and marketing.