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Mohamed bin Zayed: UAE-India bilateral relations are solid; both sides keen on strengthening strategic partnership

posted on 11/02/2016

NEW DELHI: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, reiterated the strong relations between the UAE and India, saying that the two sides share a common interest in converting mutual relations to a strategic partnership in various fields.

In a press statement released yesterday on the occasion of the arrival of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed in the Indian capital, New Delhi, at the start of his official visit, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said, "I can only express my overwhelming happiness to be present in the land of this friendly country of such a great civilisation, one which has significantly contributed to the edification of human civilisation."

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan added that UAE-India relations have historical ties dating back hundreds of years, and that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan had a prominent role in consolidating this relationship and developing its strong foundations, saying, "Within this context came the late Sheikh Zayed's historic visit to India in 1975, which represented a fundamental starting point for the development and progress of all relations between the two countries over the past decades. The Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's visit to the UAE in 1981 was a quantum leap in the course of relations between the two countries."

Sheikh Mohamed added, "The UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is always eager for strong relations with India, especially in light of the significant cooperation opportunities that exist, and the rapid regional and international changes which call for a greater coordination and understanding between our two countries to face the challenges posed by these changes, as well as the investment opportunities they offer."

Sheikh Mohamed went on to say that the most important thing which characterises UAE-India relations is that shared relations go beyond the political and economical, and have a special cultural and civilisational reach. The Crown Prince added that these cultural ties and old links between the two nations have also strengthened the presence of the Indian labour force in the UAE over many years.

He added that the UAE government and its people value the contributions of the Indian community in the UAE, and the important role they have played in the various phases of the national development process, and appreciate their role in deepening popular links between the two countries, and strengthening the basis of common interests which open up bigger prospects for the future of bilateral relations.

Sheikh Mohamed stressed that India, with its political, economic and human strength, is an influential regional and international force with an important role in security and stability issues at both regional and international levels. He added that the UAE looks forward to effective Indian contributions to meeting the challenges and risks that face the region and the world, and finding just solutions to the problems, crises and tensions in the Middle East, especially in light of Indian foreign policy which is distinguished in poise, balance and wisdom, and enjoys wide acceptance regionally and globally.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed concluded by saying, "I am full of confidence that this visit to the friendly Republic of India will achieve its goals in pushing UAE-India relations forward by major steps, especially as these relations are based on the strong political will of the two countries, which is evident through the density of mutual high-level visits, the large number of agreements that have been signed over the past years, and the joint keenness for activating these agreements and turning them into practical programmes and projects." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291429702.html


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UAE and India: a lasting friendship and advanced relationship

posted on 11/02/2016

The United Arab Emirates and the Republic of India have, for centuries, enjoyed strong, sustained relationships ever since trade was established as the primary activity connecting the people of both nations, by virtue of the two countries' strategic locations along global maritime trade routes.

Modern-era relations between the UAE and India began with the establishment of the UAE Embassy in New Delhi in 1972. In 1973, the Emirati consulate was established in Mumbai, along with the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai.

Relations between the UAE and India have grown tremendously over the past few decades thanks to the understanding, political rapprochement, and economic interests that brought these two countries together and thanks to the UAE's foreign policy established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding father of the UAE, to emphasise the importance of relations with India. Sheikh Zayed's intent was reflected in his historic visit to India in January 1975, where he met with the then Indian Prime Minister, the late Indira Gandhi, and with the then president of India and other senior statesmen.

Due to the excellent relations sustained between the two countries over the past decade under the leadership of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, relations between the UAE and India bear great potential for further development and growth. This is due to the commitment of the leadership of the two countries to further improve relations in accordance with the significance that the two countries hold, politically and economically, at both regional and international levels.

It is important to note that the UAE now occupies an advanced position among all global economic and social indicators. It holds significant status in the world of energy through oil, gas, and renewable energy industries, and its financial strength allows it to invest in various countries. Its strategic location is another advantage. India is considered an important investor-friendly environment and has the second-largest population in the world. That, in addition to its economic strength, is why India enjoys an advanced rank on the global scale and is one of the 20 largest economies in the world.

The leaders of both countries have understood the many factors that brought the two countries together and have recognised the advantages that can be achieved with political and economic rapprochement. This is clearly reflected in the presence of a very large Indian community in the UAE, estimated at about 2.6 million people. This community constitutes one of the foundations of the country's business sector, and each member contributes in their own way to the overall developmental process that the country initiated several centuries ago and continues to vigorously pursue by taking advantage of the momentum of the UAE's major accomplishments over the past few years and developing strategic plans and policies to be implemented within the next few years.

The leaders of the UAE and India have reflected this common vision of the value and importance of relations between the two countries in a number of mutual visits.

The first visit to India by the late Sheikh Zayed was in 1975, followed by visits in 1983 and 1992, leading to the establishment of special relations between the UAE and India.

With Sheikh Zayed's visit to India in April 1992, the two countries entered a new phase of relations, as reflected in the magnitude and quality of the reception he received upon his arrival in the capital, New Delhi.

In an interview he gave to the Indian media during that visit, the late Sheikh Zayed communicated his vision of relations with India and his vision of the future of cooperation and friendship between the two countries.

He stressed that relations between the UAE and India were strong and solid due to the historical ties of cooperation between the two peoples. He said his visit was only intended to express his renewed support for existing relations between the two countries and for the development of friendship ties between the two peoples. He added that the people of the UAE looked forward to further strengthening and developing this cooperation into further areas of mutual interest.

He also expressed his optimism on the continuation of India's constructive role, with its benevolent efforts, in the security and stability of the Gulf region.

In a statement to the press before leaving India, the late Sheikh Zayed expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of his visit and his discussions with then President Ramaswamy Venkataraman.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum paid a prominent visit to India in March 2007. This visit attracted significant interest, among both the Indian government and the people, and His Highness enjoyed great hospitality at the presidential residence in New Delhi, where he and his accompanying delegation were received by the then Indian president, the late Abubakar Zainal Abidin Abdul Kalam.

His Highness also held official discussions with then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Hyderabad Palace in New Delhi, where they addressed the overall bilateral relations between the UAE and India and the level of trade and investment exchange between the two countries, particularly at the private sector level.

The Indian prime minister praised the laws and regulations governing general labour rights in the UAE, describing the country as hospitable and safe not just for the Indian labour force but for all communities that reside in the UAE, noting the health rights, human rights, and civil rights that are enjoyed by labourers under fair and applicable laws.

During this visit, several agreements were signed between the two countries, including one related to developing real estate projects and constructing residential and tourist-friendly cities in India, a joint venture between Emirati company Nakheel and Indian company Dubai LF Group. Another agreement was signed between DP World and India, under which DP World would operate and manage six ports in eastern and western India.

This agreement was an extension of the existing cooperation between the two parties and a confirmation of the governmental and private orientation towards building a strategic economic and investment partnership between the UAE and the Republic of India.

Other agreements signed by the two countries included one that prevents double taxation between the two parties and agreements that aim to strengthen UAE-India bilateral relations in various fields.

During his visit to New Delhi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed received Dr. Pranab Mukherjee, then India's Minister of Foreign Affairs. During the meeting, they discussed a number of regional and international political issues, as well as the need to redouble international efforts to peacefully resolve disputes between states in conflict zones by supporting the United Nations and the UN Security Council's role in their efforts to bring peace and stability to the respective areas and achieve freedom and independence for all peoples in lands occupied by foreign forces.

The Indian minister praised the positions adopted by the UAE's leadership and its balanced foreign policy, which plays an important role in regional and international policies and serves the need for peace, security, and economic and human development.

Pratibha Patil, then President of the Republic of India, made an official visit to the UAE in November, 2010, where she met with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to discuss bilateral relations and ways to strengthen them in the trade, economic, investment, and cultural sectors, in light of the steady growth in trade exchange between the two countries and the historical friendship between the two peoples.

During a speech at the Indian Social and Cultural Centre in Abu Dhabi, the Indian President emphasised the contribution of the Indian labour force to the UAE economy.

In 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official visit to the UAE gained great importance, as it was part of efforts to consolidate bilateral relations between the two countries in the economic, political, trade and cultural fields. It was the first visit made by an Indian Prime Minister to the UAE since Indira Gandhi's visit 34 years prior, in 1981.

Prime Minister Modi met with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Intensive discussions were held between the two sides, mainly addressing UAE-India collaboration in the fields of energy, trade, and security. They also discussed the strengthening of bilateral relations in all fields between the two brotherly countries.

When Prime Minister Modi met with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on August 16-17, 2015, they discussed the facilitation of the exchange of regular visits between religious scholars and intellectuals, in addition to the facilitation of the organisation of conferences and seminars that aim to promote peace, tolerance, participation and well-being, values that are inherent in all religions.

The two sides also agreed to strengthen their collaboration on counter-terrorism operations, the exchange of intelligence information, and the building of capacity and to work together to adopt the comprehensive treaty on International Terrorism, proposed by India at the UN. They further agreed to organise, exchange, and control information on the flow of money that may be used to finance extremist activities, to cooperate in the prevention and criminalisation of illegal financial flows, and to take strict measures against individuals and organisations that stand behind such activities.

An agreement was struck to enhance collaboration in the areas of law enforcement, combating of money laundering, drug trafficking and cross-border crimes, criminal extradition agreements, and police force training, as well as in the field of cyberspace, including prohibiting the use of the Internet to promote terrorism, extremism, and threats to social peace. The agreement aimed to strengthen cooperation in ensuring maritime security in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean to protect the safety and well-being of the two countries.

The agreement also included the promotion of collaboration in the field of humanitarian aid and evacuations during natural disasters and conflicts and the strengthening of relations in the defence sector through military exercises and the periodic training of land, sea, and air forces.

The two sides also agreed to establish a strategic security dialogue between the two governments and to recognise the emergence of India as a new destination for investment opportunities, especially in light of the new governmental initiatives to facilitate trade and investment, encouraging the UAE's institutional investors to increase their investments in India by setting up the Indian UAE fund, worth US$75 billion, to support investment plans in India and to expand to the next generation of infrastructure projects in railways, ports, roads, airports, and industrial zones.

Both sides agreed to take advantage of Indian expertise in the small and medium-sized enterprise sector to create a vital industrial base in the UAE, which would also benefit the Indian companies. An agreement was also reached to strengthen the collaboration between advanced educational institutions in the UAE and Indian universities and scientific research institutions in the fields of renewable energy, sustainable development, agriculture in arid lands and desert environments, urban development, and advanced health care systems. Furthermore, the two parties agreed to strengthen mutual cooperation in the field of space science, including the development and launch of satellites, ground installations, and applications of space science.

The years 2012 and 2013 witnessed a number of reciprocal visits by officials from the two countries. During this period, economic relations between the two countries were just as strong as political relations, where non-oil trade between the two countries amounted to some US$44.5 billion in the first nine months of 2012.

35 Emirati investment firms operate in India, most notably Emaar, DP World, Abu Dhabi Ports Company, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism and Culture, and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan's visit to India in May 2012, marked a new phase in bilateral relations. In an article published by The Asian Age newspaper in New Delhi, Sheikh Abdullah highlighted the importance of strengthening UAE-India relations to serve mutual economic, trade, and investment interests, saying that the depth of relations between the UAE and India was deeply rooted in history, and the two countries should continue in their joint efforts to strengthen these relations to serve their mutual interests.

Both the UAE and India have expressed their support for efforts made to ensure the smooth flow of trade in the two regions. The UAE is looking forward to raising the level of mutual collaboration with India in order to serve their common interests such as promoting co-operation in maritime security and the eradication of maritime piracy.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah also noted that the UAE and India share more common interests than ever before, specifically with regard to continuing multilateral and effective collaboration that supports shared values and works as a driving force for development on a global level, as well as strengthening the pillars of stability in our regions.

He said, "On this occasion of our visit to India, we reiterate the UAE's commitment to support efforts to strengthen our relations and look forward to working together to achieve our shared objectives and to deepen the bonds of friendship and co-operation between our two peoples and our two countries in order to create new opportunities for a better future."

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah also stressed that the UAE is keen to enhance co-operation with India in the energy sector, emphasising the UAE's willingness to raise the volume of its oil exports to India and increase its investment in the private energy sectors, specifically the petrochemical energy sector.

During a joint press conference in 2012 with his then Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna, after their meeting in the Indian capital city, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said, "We discussed ways to strengthen the excellent relations between the two countries in all fields, especially in the fields of trade, economy, investment and energy."

His Highness also said that the meeting discussed ways to strengthen co-operation to eradicate the phenomenon of piracy, emphasising that capacity building in Somalia would effectively contribute to addressing this phenomenon.

On his part, the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs praised the strong ties between the UAE and India, and the keenness shown by both leaderships to increase co-operation between the two countries in all fields.

Regarding collaborations in the field of energy, S.M. Krishna reiterated India's efforts to increase its oil imports from the UAE as a reliable source of bio-energy, and he spoke about the two countries' determination to form a team dedicated to all aspects of investment between the two countries under the chairmanship of H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, ADIA.

The Press Trust of India reported that investments made by the ADIA in India amounted to US$500 million and were concentrated in real estate development and investment funds.

On June 27th, 2013, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah met India's Vice President, Dr. Hamid Ansari, India's then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and then national security adviser, Shiv Shankar Menon, in India's capital, New Delhi.

In these meetings, they discussed a number of issues of mutual interest between the two countries, specifically ways to strengthen trade and economic exchange, as well as energy and security matters.

The UAE-India Joint Commission last convened in 2015, when H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, led a delegation of senior officials and captains of leading UAE business houses to India for the 11th session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting for Technical and Economical Cooperation, held in September in New Delhi. H.H. Sheikh Abdullah was accompanied by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State.

During his visit, Sheikh Abdullah called on the Prime Minister of India and had meetings with the External Affairs Minister, the Minister of Defence, the Minister for Railways, and India's National Security Adviser.

All the meetings between officials of the UAE and India were centred on strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries, which was reflected in the depth of relations in various fields. It was thus agreed to set up a joint task force on mutual investments in the UAE and India.

The UAE-India Joint Task Force on Investments was established in April 2012, under the chairmanship of H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, and India's then Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma, as a platform to discuss shared issues associated with investments between the two countries and to encourage and facilitate cross-border investments.

The first UAE-India Joint Task Force meeting was held in February 2013, and resulted in a broad discussion about matters of mutual interest, including the identification of sectors that have priority in possible investments in the two countries.

Since then, the task force has consistently worked to strengthen and develop bilateral relations in the field of investment, and in December 2013, it signed a bilateral agreement for the protection and promotion of investments, which serves as a platform to strengthen the legal protection of investments in both countries.

And as a result of the decisions taken during the first UAE-India Joint Task Force on investment, several joint task groups were established to address issues of common interest in infrastructure, investment, trade, energy, manufacturing, technology, aviation, information technology, and telecommunications, among other sectors.

During the meeting, the task force agreed on a plan of action to accelerate the progress of all joint task groups, and made significant progress on a number of issues on the agenda.

This progress was reflected in the establishment of a strategic partnership between the UAE and India by the signing of an agreement to encourage and protect mutual investments on 12th December, 2013.

The signing of the agreement came as a result of the meeting held in the Indian capital in May, 2013, between H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his Indian counterpart, Salman Khurshid. The agreement was signed by UAE's Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, and his Indian counterpart, Namwon Warren Mina. According to an Indian official, this agreement was a major achievement that would effectively contribute to the growth of mutual investments between the two countries.

The official also pointed out that both countries were the largest trade partners to one another, as the value of bilateral trade had reached US$75 billion.

He also predicted that the signing of this agreement would open doors for more investment opportunities, as the UAE-India Joint Task Force was expected to continue to meet to discuss further mutual investment opportunities.

On 3rd March, 2012, The UAE-India Joint Task Force held its second meeting in Mumbai under the chairmanship of H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and then Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma, and with the participation of more than 30 representatives from governmental and private sectors in both countries.

During the meeting, a number of issues of common interest were discussed, most notably the matter of supporting the establishment of a strategic petroleum reserve in India, so as to serve the common strategic interests of both countries.

In his speech during the meeting, H.H. Sheikh Hamed stressed the importance of the existing bilateral relations between the UAE and India in all fields, saying, "We have developed the work of the Joint Task Force on Investments and laid the foundation for investments and issues of common interest, and we look forward to the ratification of the bilateral agreement for the protection and promotion of investments and to the settlement of pending issues that have been identified at the first meeting."

On his part, Anand Sharma affirmed India's position as a major destination for foreign investment, pointing out opportunities for the UAE, specifically in infrastructure domains, such as highways, energy, public facilities, civil aviation, ports, renewable energy, and urban infrastructure, in addition to participation through infrastructure debt funds.

A number of Emirati and Indian ministers have exchanged visits, as per the principles of the long-standing strategic partnership between the two countries, and their mutual co-operation, and established a joint task force to make progress in various fields.

In this context, UAE's Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, paid a visit to India in September 2013, where he met with then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Kiran Kumar Reddy, at the Cabinet's headquarters in Hyderabad. The meeting was attended by Minister of Labour, Danm Najendr, and in it they addressed the collaborative and friendly relationship between the UAE and the Republic of India in various fields, especially employment and work force.

The Chief Minister praised the mechanisms with which the UAE operates to develop the performance of its human resources in various sectors, especially the laws and regulations laid by the Ministry of Labour, and its initiatives which are implemented according to the most modern and advanced standards of management of labour relations, enjoying widespread international acclaim, especially by the International Labour Organisation.

In February 2012, the UAE's then Minister of Foreign Trade, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, visited India and met with the President of India, Pratibha Patil. During their meeting, Sheikha Lubna and Mrs. Patil discussed the special relationship between the two countries and ways to enhance them in the trade, economic and investment sectors.

During her visit, Sheikha Lubna also met with her counterpart, Anand Sharma, and discussed ways of enhancing commercial cooperation and raising the volume of trade exchanges between the two countries, as well as investment opportunities in the technology, energy, petrochemicals and infrastructure sectors.

On February 11, 2012, Sheikha Lubna and Anand Sharma, participated in the opening of the 19th session of the International Engineering and Technology Exhibition in New Delhi, where the UAE was a key participant. In a speech during the opening, Sheikha Lubna said that the participation of the UAE as an observing partner comes within the context of its keenness to strengthen its partnership and friendly relations with India, and its desire to develop its base there to include new sectors, including technology, manufacturing and engineering.

Sheikha Lubna called upon Indian companies to explore investment opportunities in the UAE in these sectors to strengthen partnership relations between the two countries, noting that despite the focus of investment collaboration between the two countries in recent years in the energy, services, metallurgical manufacturing and construction sectors, the United Arab Emirates would like to expand the focus to also include emerging sectors, such as technology and alternative energy.

India's Minister of Commerce and Industry praised the level of trade and investment between the UAE and India, noting that there are other prospects for collaboration that can be invested in through various companies and factories participating in such exhibitions.

On January 13th, 2014, UAE Minister of Energy, Suhail Al Mazroui, visited India and discussed with officials the UAE-India relationship in the oil and gas sectors, saying that the past ten years have seen significant changes that have affected global energy resources, starting from the oil and shale gas revolution to the remarkable growth in renewable energy, where these changes posed many challenges and presented opportunities for countries to restructure their plans to achieve balanced and sustainable resources of energy that enable them to withstand future changes.

In a speech at Petrotech 2014 in the Indian capital New Delhi, Al Mazroui said, "We are witnessing a remarkable growth of Asian markets as they gain the most important role in the demand for energy sources."

The Minister noted that the relationship between the UAE and India is a long-standing resilient relationship that dates back to 1975 when the first agreement to supply oil to the Indian Oil Corporation was signed, and ever since, the UAE-India relationship in the field of energy has continued to grow and develop, resulting today in India being the second largest importer of oil from the United Arab Emirates.

He also demonstrated the UAE's experience in shaping plans to diversify the field of energy. He noted that diversity in the sources of power generation is considered a priority for the UAE, in order to achieve balanced and sustainable resources of energy, in which natural gas will constitute the largest component of the energy equation by 2020, accounting for 65%-70% of the nation's power supply, while nuclear power will account for 25%, with a capacity of 5,600 megawatt-hours, and renewable energy is expected to account for 5% of the UAE's power supply.

During his visit to attend Petrotech, Al Mazroui, along with the UAE Ambassador to India, Mohammed Sultan Al Owais, met with India's Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Varoba Molly, and a number of Indian oil and gas companies, in the context of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries and boosting cooperation in various fields of energy, including exchanging expertise and discussing ways the two countries can collaborate in the oil and gas industry.

Economic reports show steady growth in trade exchange between the UAE and India, rising from US$180 million in 1971 when the Union was established, to US$43.5 billion in 2009, and growing later to about US$67.6 billion by 2010. Trade continued to rise in 2011 and 2012 to record US$72.7 billion and US$75.5 billion, respectively, while trade reached some US$60 billion last year.

The UAE and India have always gone to great lengths to renew and consolidate bilateral economic and trade relations. This has been reflected on overall bilateral relations between the two countries, turning them into a major partnership in the economic and commercial spheres, as the UAE became India's third largest trade partner, after China and the USA, in 2013-2014.

The Indian work force in the UAE currently includes about 2.6 million workers, reflecting the significance of UAE-India relations and common interests that are growing day after day, while there are about 50,000 Indian companies operating in the UAE today in the industrial, technological and health fields, among others. Annual money transfers by the large Indian community in the UAE are estimated at over US$8 billion, according to 2012 statistics.

The two countries have signed a number of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding since 1975 that include agreements in various sectors, such as the cultural cooperation agreement, the civil aviation agreement, the double taxation avoidance agreement and the agreement to combat trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances. Also signed was an extradition treaty and a treaty of mutual legal assistance in criminal and civil matters, in addition to legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters agreements and many others, including a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of renewable energy, which was signed in 2014.

Total UAE investments in India have amounted to some Dh8 billion dirhams, according to statistics from the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, including Dh3 billion dirhams in direct investments. UAE investments in India are generally concentrated in five sectors: the real estate sector (accounting for 15.5% of investments), the energy industry (accounting for 13% of investments), the metallurgical industry (accounting for 9% of investments), the services sector (accounting for 9.6% of investments) and the computer software and hardware industry (accounting for 5% of investments).

After more than four centuries, UAE-India relations continue to grow, and the achievements made as a result have helped the two nations gain advanced cooperation status, in terms of regional and international relationships, especially as the UAE's policy, is based upon strong foundations, such as respect for international laws and cooperation at the global level.

By adding India to its most important international relations, the UAE will have expanded the scope of its relations with major countries, especially in Asia, where India and China are key players by virtue of their very large populations, accounting for around one-third of the earth's population, especially bearing in mind the political and economic importance of these two countries. In addition, the UAE is held in very high esteem at both regional and global levels, thanks to the wise policies and leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291437611.html


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Mohamed bin Zayed receives India's External Affairs Minister

posted on 11/02/2016

NEW DELHI: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, received yesterday at his residence in New Delhi, India's External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj.

During the meeting, they discussed friendship and co-operation between the two friendly countries and ways of enhancing and upgrading them to the best levels to serve the common interests.

They reviewed the existing areas of co-operation between the UAE and India in various political, economic, cultural and investment sectors, and other vital aspects that the two countries seek to develop to achieve the vision of the leaders of the two countries to foster closer friendship and co-operation between them.

The talks touched on the overall events and the latest regional and international developments. Sheikh Mohamed and Swaraj also tackled a number of issues of common concern.

The meeting was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, and H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi's Court. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291440084.html


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The UAE is India`s third largest trading partner: report

posted on 11/02/2016

Ties between the UAE and India are witnessing rapid and significant growth in economic, political, trade, investment, energy and cultural fields driven by millennia old bonds of friendship, mutual interests and people-to-people close contact.

The relationship has flourished since the creation of the UAE Federation in 1971 and trade has played a major role in giving momentum and strength to them.

At the heart of its foreign policy, the UAE is sincerely and particularly interested in extending bridges of cooperation and friendship with India as one of emerging and growing economic and political powerhouses and influencers in the world.

Thanks to political understanding and rapprochement, prudent foreign policy as well as vital mutual economic interests, bilateral relations have grown by leaps and bounds over the recent decades. UAE foreign policy, since being laid by the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, has been attaching paramount importance to these ties, which were delivered a big boost when Sheikh Zayed paid a historic visit to India in 1975 and had talks with Indira Gandhi, the then Indian Prime Minister, the Indian President and senior statesmen.

Today, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is not only pursuing the same path as Sheikh Zayed, but has also added further vibrancy, momentum and strength to these ties.

The UAE and India are making tremendous efforts to scale their economic, investment and trade cooperation to new heights, given the fact that India is today emerging as one of the world's fastest growing economies. Forecasts predict that the South Asian country will rise as the world's third largest economy by 2030 after the United States and China. The UAE was the third key trade partner to India after China and the US in 2013 and 2014.The two-way trade has seen meteoric growth over the years, rising from US$43.5 billion in 2009 to nearly US$60 billion in 2014 from just US$180 million in 1971. UAE-India bilateral trade continued to grow in strength with Indian exports of goods and commodities expected to surge to US$100 billion and two-way trade exchange to US$160 billion by 2030, making the UAE the largest trade partner to India in the world.

During the India fiscal year April 2013 to March 2014, India's foreign exports stood at US$300 billion with the UAE market receiving goods worth US$28 billion or 28%.

According to a study by the UAE Ministry of Economy, India is the number one trade partner of the UAE with a relative share of 9.8% of the total UAE non-oil trade. It also ranked first in the UAE's overall exports with a relative share of 14.9% and ranked second in the UAE's re-exports to the world accounting for 8.7% of the UAE's total re-exports. India also ranked third in the UAE's total imports with a relative share of 9.2%.

UAE's non-oil exports to India in 2014 stood at nearly US$5.3 billion, with a decline of 31% compared to 2013. Overall, 10 commodities accounted for 88.5% of the total non-oil exports of the UAE to India. Different varieties of gold (raw, dust, and the semi processed) occupied 59% of the total non-oil exports to India which stood at US$3.16 billion, down by 46.6% compared to 2013. This was followed by ornaments and jewellery standing at US$364 million with an annual growth of 41%, and by trade in copper wire with a total value of US$319 million and an annual growth rate of 26%.

In terms of the UAE's imports, India is the third largest trade partner of the nation with imports from India touching nearly US$17.4 billion in 2014, a decline of 12.4% from 2013. Ten commodities accounted for 67% of imports from India during 2014. Various gold varieties dominated the list of the UAE's imports from India with a total value of US$ 4.6 billion accounting for 26.4% of the total UAE imports from India, with an annual decline of 1.5%.

Diamonds came in second with a total value of nearly US$3.2 billion, accounting for a 47% downfall compared to 2013. Jewellery and ornaments occupied third spot with a total value of US$2.1 billion representing a growth of 30%. It is notable that the UAE's imports of wheat rose by 179%.

The UAE is the largest Arab investor country in India, accounting for 81.2% of total Arab investments in India, and is ranked 11th in the world in terms of foreign direct investments in India. The total UAE investments in India amounted to US$8 billion, including US$2.89 billion in the form of direct foreign investments. UAE investments in India are concentrated in five sectors: construction (16%), energy (14%), metallurgy (10%), services sector (10%), computer software and hardware (5%). The other sectors include petroleum products, precious metals, gems and jewellery, minerals, chemicals, wood and wood products.

Major UAE companies, including Emaar Properties, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) and DP World have a long history and considerable experience in working in India and have undertaken many joint mega projects and investments. Global marine terminal operator, DP World, operates six key container terminals in India and is currently developing the International Container Trans-shipment Terminal (ICTT) in Kerala. DP World has invested billions of dollars in India to become the largest container terminal operator in the country, as it aims to capitalise on the market's economic and foreign trade growth of recent years.

The value of investments by Indian companies in the UAE is estimated at more than US$55bn, according to statistics by the Indian Business and Professional Council. There are 50,000 Indian companies operating in the UAE's specialised economic and free trade zones across sectors and industries of cement, building and construction, textiles, ICT, consumer electronic, engineering and electronic services and products, tourism, hospitality, manufacturing, financial services, industry, health, education and retail trade. These companies employ about one million Indians.

The UAE hosts the largest Indian community overseas, with more than 2.6 million Indians living and working in the UAE. Their annual remittances are estimated by analysts to be more than US$12 billion - clear evidence of the ever-growing robust bilateral ties and vital mutual interests.

India occupies the seventh rank in terms of accumulated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the UAE.

To facilitate the free framework of movement of investment and capital, the two countries signed the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) in 2013, the agreement on reciprocal tax exemption for national carriers in 1989, Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) on income and capital for sovereign funds in 1993 and amended in 2007. To push strategic ties forward, the two countries signed a number of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding to promote cooperation in key sectors like culture, civil aviation, mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters, trade and economy, industry, security, organised and cross-border crime, customs etc.

Statistics showed that India has been the key trade partner of the UAE over the recent years, buoyed by increasingly vibrant bilateral trade, economic and investment relations and abundant prospects for joint economic cooperation.

The UAE-India relations go beyond economic, trade and investment exchange to include other promising sectors like the aviation. There are over 950 direct weekly flights between the UAE and India, a number that shows the strength of people-to-people and economic ties between the two countries. Flights between the UAE and India take the lion's share of air traffic between the Arabian Gulf and India.

The Small and Medium-sized Enterprises sector (SMEs) is also a promising area for joint cooperation. The UAE has expressed interest in tapping India's expertise in SMEs to create a vibrant industrial base in the UAE, which could also be of benefit to Indian enterprises. The UAE's economic policy is supporting and encouraging young entrepreneurs to engage in SMEs as part of efforts to deliver long-term social and economic benefits in creating new jobs, promoting entrepreneurship and accelerating diversification in both UAE and Indian economies.

In 2014, India and the UAE signed an MoU to enhance cooperation in renewable energy, especially solar and wind power.

India is looking to strengthen cooperation and investment with the UAE to ramp up efforts in the renewable energy sector. Cooperation under the MoU will help identify areas of mutual interest and develop new and renewable energy for both countries. India stands among the top five countries in terms of renewable energy capacity. It has an installed base of over 30,000 MW. This represents an almost 400 per cent increase in the past five years alone. Renewable energy is one of the most promising sectors of interest to both countries in light of the their great ambitions for renewable, clean energy. The UAE offers attractive incentives to international investors to forge bilateral partnerships for developing innovative products and solutions of sustainable energy. There were also positive signs that the Indian government has invited foreign investors, especially Emiratis, to pump funds not only into the infrastructure projects, but also into manufacturing and rail sectors.

From a foreign policy and regional security perspective, the UAE pays due attention to regional security in Asia, therefore it places India at the forefront of its international partnerships and recognises the importance of broadening a comprehensive dialogue with India that deepens and diversifies areas of engagement. There are particularly strong opportunities for UAE-India security cooperation in combating terrorism.

In the media sector, cooperation between the two countries dates back to 1981, when the United News of India (UNI), one of the largest multilingual news agencies in India, opened its office in Abu Dhabi and signed a cooperation agreement with the state-run Emirates News Agency (WAM) for news exchange. Another leading news agency in India, the Press Trust of India (PTI), also inked a similar agreement with WAM in 2000.

Culturally, the UAE and India share age-old cultural ties which have been further strengthened by regular cultural exchanges and frequent interactions between the two friendly countries which are making sincere efforts to cultivate regular cultural exchanges both at official and people-to-people levels. The Cultural Agreement of 1975 provides the basic framework for cooperation to bring Arab and Indian cultures closer together. The UAE's Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development and other cultural organisations, such as Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, (TCA), have been close partners in organising Indian cultural events including film festivals and art exhibitions.

Kalima, a TCA ambitious, non-profit initiative which funds the translation, publication, and distribution of high-quality works of classic and contemporary writing from other languages into Arabic, has translated and published a collection of some prominent Indian books, mainly culture and heritage.

Likewise, QALAM, another initiative of TCA, and in collaboration with India Arab Cultural Centre of Jamia Millia Islamia, launched a joint cultural project to translate masterpieces of Emirati literature from Arabic to Hindi and Urdu.

The two countries also agreed to form a Joint Working Group for cooperative research on subjects of mutual interest, exchange and training of scientific personnel, exchange of technologies and data, organisation of workshops and seminars, and transfer of know-how and equipment on a non-commercial basis.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) aims to increase the number of Indian firms listed to more than 100 within the next 10 years. DIFC has seen exponential growth from only one Indian institution in 2007 to over 20 Indian banks and financial institutions at present. Discussions are ongoing with 10 leading Indian banks regarding their setting up in Dubai's financial hub.

Indian institutions now make up the third largest community of financial firms at the financial centre. Furthermore, more than a quarter of the current workforce employed in DIFC is of Indian origin.

The drive to attract more businesses follows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the UAE in August 2015, the first for an Indian prime minister since Indira Ghandi's visit in 1981, to strengthen the relationship with the Gulf countries and seek investment to boost the Indian economy.

Trade and investment ties between India and the UAE will continue to grow following a pledge made by Prime Minister Modi and UAE government officials to increase bilateral trade by 60 percent over the next five years.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, paid several state visits to India between 2007 and 2011 for talks focused on broadening prospects of economic cooperation between the two countries.

The visit of the Indian Prime Minister to UAE in August 2015, the first for 34 years, marked the beginning of a new and comprehensive strategic partnership between India and UAE in a world of multiple transitions and changing opportunities and challenges.

Mr Modi held extensive talks with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

During the talks, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum reiterated the deep-rooted historical relations that bind the UAE and India, and the two leaders explored ways to strengthen the friendship and cooperation on strategic grounds that ensure the interests of both countries and people.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also held talks with India's Prime Minister about ways to enhance bilateral ties of friendship and cooperation and exchanged views on a variety of regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Sheikh Mohamed said that the UAE was looking forward to scale friendly bilateral ties to new, ambitious heights at all levels. He added, "Your Excellency's interest in visiting the UAE is a true expression of the bonds of friendship and fruitful bilateral cooperation as well as the common vision towards a wide range of regional and international issues. We also share with you this interest, given your country's important role in international politics and global economic growth."

Sheikh Mohamed highly valued the contributions of the resident Indian community to the development of many sectors in the UAE. "The Indian community has made significant contributions to the process of building the country and the development that the UAE is witnessing. It is a natural extension of age old bonds between the Indian subcontinent and the Arabian Gulf."

As they exchanged views on a wide range of regional and international topics of mutual interest, the two sides emphasised their mutual desire to build more solid and robust ties.

Modi's UAE trip produced significant strategic economic and political indicators as India views the UAE as a major economic powerhouse in the Arab World and a favourite market for Indian migrant workers. For its part, the UAE considers its strategic relations with India one of its foreign policies priorities.

The prime minister's visit was of strategic significance in bilateral relations and followed on the heels of growing diplomatic, economic, energy and defence cooperation between the two countries.

From a foreign policy and regional security perspective, the UAE has placed India at the forefront of its international partnerships and recognises the importance of broadening a comprehensive dialogue with India that deepens and diversifies areas of engagement.

Modi's visit to the United Arab Emirates in August 2015 at the invitation of His Highness Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed AI Nahyan, delivered a paradigm shift to the millennia old ties of friendship and cooperation bilateral and marked yet another milestone in the history of both UAE and India.

A Joint India-UAE statement issued at the end of the state visit said that an extensive framework of agreements, including economic, defence, security, law enforcement, culture, consular and people-to-people contacts constituted solid bedrock for elevating bilateral cooperation across the full spectrum of the relationship, and that His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi agreed to seize the historic moment of opportunity and shared responsibility to chart a new course in their partnership for the 21st century. The leaders agreed to elevate the India-UAE relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

People-to-people are at the heart of India-UAE relations and both governments will continue to nurture these relations and ensure the welfare of their citizens, especially the workers, in each other's countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291437479.html


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UAE-India trade may hit US$100 billion in 2020

posted on 11/02/2016

India is considered to be the UAE's primary trade partner, accounting for about 9.8% of its total non-oil trade. India is also the largest importer of goods from the UAE, buying about 14.9% of that country's exports and about 8.7% of its re-exports, becoming the second-largest market of the UAE in the latter category.

India ranks third among countries that export to the UAE, accounting for about 9.2% of the total imports by the UAE. The total volume of foreign trade between the two countries amounted to US$60 billion in 2014, making the UAE India's primary trade partner in the Middle East and North Africa. Economic sources expect the value of trade exchanges between the UAE and India to hit US$100 billion in 2020.

In a report on economic and trade relations between the UAE and the Republic of India, the Ministry of Economy recommended the strengthening of bilateral relations, increasing of the volume of joint investments and expansion of bilateral trade to make the United Arab Emirates India's primary trade partner. The Ministry said the trade and investment sectors constitute the cornerstones of prosperous bilateral economic ties between the UAE and the Republic of India.

The Ministry also said there are abundant and feasible opportunities for economic co-operation and the establishment of joint ventures between the UAE and India, and that every economic facility is a viable opportunity for establishing partnerships as they all have the necessary factors, such as expertise, modern technology, funds and energy. This encourages both countries to discuss possible partnerships and form specialised committees that can supervise the implementation in a way that serves the interests of both parties.

In its report, the Ministry of Economy also stated that the Framework Agreement on Economic Co-operation between the Republic of India and the Gulf Co-operation Council that took place in August 2005, aimed at exploring the possibilities of establishing a free trade area between the two parties, was a quantum leap in trade exchanges between the two parties. GCC countries are important trade partners of India and account for more than 11% of India's global exports, a figure that continues to grow. This agreement may also be the key to more comprehensive co-operation between the two parties in various fields.

The report said that India is the seventh largest economy in the world with a total GDP (at current prices) worth about $2,182.577 billion in 2015, according to World Bank statistics, achieving growth of up to 6.4% from 2014.

The report also said India is one of the developing Asian economies that have maintained their economic position despite the global financial crisis, as a result of the large fiscal stimulus offered by its policies and its pursuit of a policy to reduce interest rates on monetary policy tools, as well as the rise in its industrial production and its decreasing reliance on exports.

Statistics issued by the World Trade Organisation in its 2015 World Trade report indicated that India ranked 19th in the world in terms of exports, worth US$317 billion, and accounting for 1.7% of the global exports. It also ranked 12th in the world with imports worth US$460 billion, accounting for 2.4% of the world's imports.

Based on the data in the World Investment Report issued by UNCTAD, the Ministry's report said that India ranked 10th in the world in terms of attracting foreign direct investment, placing it among the top nations of the world in this category. This is due to several reasons, such as the fact that India is one of the largest economies in the world, its strategic position, its rapidly growing consumer market, and its large skilled and trained labour force that is cost competitive, as well as its industrial sector that is one of the largest in the world, covering all industrial activities and fields, large manpower of scientists, engineers and technicians, besides rich agricultural and mineral resources.

The report also said India had excellent infrastructure, an advanced financial sector, an investor-friendly political and commercial environment offering amenities and tax incentives and facilitating import and export, and an advanced legal environment that allows ease of capital transfer and usage of brand names, in addition to exemption from income tax on profits made from exports, as well as full exemption from customs duties on industrial imports.

The report highlighted the many diverse sectors that attract foreign direct investment in the Republic of India, such as financial and non-financial services, wired and wireless communication, transportation and the industrial sector, oil, chemicals, construction services and the pharmaceuticals sector, as well as food processing services, cement products and electrical equipment.

The report also focused on the availability of large areas of arable land in India, as it is the seventh largest country in the world in terms of area. India is considered to be one of the largest food producers, among the largest sugarcane and tea producers and the second-largest producer of rice, fruits and vegetables.

India is also one of the world's leading countries in the production and consumption of food products due to its population, which is the second largest in the world, thus providing tremendous opportunities for investment in the food processing sector. The pharmaceuticals sector also occupies a central role in the Indian economy.

The report also indicated that the Indian automobile industry has begun to sweep the world markets, where India has become the second-largest manufacturer of tyres, the fifth-largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles and the fourth-largest passenger car market in Asia. It is also the largest producer of tractors in the world.

Tourist services are among the largest service industries in terms of total revenue and foreign exchange earnings. The wired and wireless telecommunication sector in India is the third-largest in the world and the second-largest among the emerging economies in Asia. It continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, and is considered one of the main sectors responsible for economic growth in India.

India is one of the important and influential countries in terms of world trade volume, as it ranked 12th in imports and 19th in exports in 2014, according to International Trade Centre statistics.

The value of India's exports amounted to nearly US$310.34 billion in the 2014-2015 period, compared with US$314.41 billion in the 2013-2014 period, registering a 1.29% drop in value. Forty-three per cent of its exports were concentrated in 10 commodities in the 2014-2015 period.

India's most exported commodity was petroleum oil and oil extracted from bituminous minerals, worth a total of US$55.93 billion, accounting for about 18% of its total exports and registering a 10.7% drop from the previous year. Diamonds came in second place, worth US$24.23 billion in exports, accounting for about 7.8% of the country's total exports and registering a 7.3% drop from the 2013-2014 period. Jewellery and precious metals were in third place, worth US$13.2 billion in exports, accounting for about 4.3 % of its total exports and registering a 22% increase from the previous year.

In the 2014-2015 period, India's imports decreased by 0.48%, amounting to US$448.03 billion, compared to US$450.2 billion in the 2013-2014 period. Fifty-four per cent of its imports were concentrated in ten commodities. The most imported commodities were petroleum oil and raw bituminous mineral substances, worth US$116.44 billion and accounting for 26% of the total imports, an 18.9% drop from the 2013-2014 period. Gold, in raw, semi-fabricated or powder form, came in second place, with a total value of US$34.4 billion in imports, accounting for about 7.7% of the total imports, a 20% rise from the 2013-2014 period.

The report addressed the economic relations between India and the UAE, stressing that the UAE economy attracts investment due to many reasons, such as the economic and political stability in the country, its status as the gateway to regional and international markets, the abundant investment opportunities it offers, as well as its excellent geographical location, readily available infrastructure and ease of investment procedures in various sectors.

India ranked second in terms of the cumulative value of foreign direct investment in the UAE, with US$5.7 billion being invested in 2013, a 20.4% rise from 2012.

The report also included data of the UAE's investments abroad that were surveyed by the Ministry of Economy. It confirmed that the UAE is the largest investor in India from the Arab world, accounting for 81.2% of the total Arab investments in India. The UAE also ranked 11th in the world in terms of foreign direct investment in India. The total sum of the UAE's investments in India is estimated to be about US$8 billion, including US$2.89 billion as foreign direct investment.

The UAE's investments in India are mainly concentrated in five sectors: construction development (16%), energy (14%), metallurgical industries (10%), services (10%), and computer software and hardware (5%). Other sectors are petroleum products, precious metals, precious stones and jewellery, as well as metals, chemical materials and wood and wooden products.

The report said DP World is one of the oldest Emirati companies operating in India, where the company runs 34% of all container terminals. Emaar MGF's investments in India have risen to nearly US$2 billion, and it has emerged as a leading company in the Indian real estate sector.

The Ministry of Economy's report said there's an early-stage discussion happening between INMOBI, one of the largest electronics companies located in Bangalore, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Qatar Investment Authority to enter into a partnership.

The report also said that the UAE, the GCC and India are bound by agreements and Memoranda of Understanding. In September 2015, the India-UAE Joint Business Council was inaugurated by UAE Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

In addition, Memoranda of Understanding were signed between the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and the Metrology and the Indian Standards Institute; between the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India; between the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the UAE and the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development for co-operation in the field of higher education and scientific research; and between the National Council for Tourism and Antiquities in the UAE and the Ministry of Tourism in India; besides the Federation of United Arab Emirates Chambers of Commerce and Industry and India.

In January 2014, the UAE and India signed an air transport services sector agreement, allowing specified carriers from both countries, whether owned or rented, to make regular trips. In 2013, the UAE, represented by the Ministry of Finance, also signed an investment protection and promotion agreement with the Republic of India, in addition to a convention on economic co-operation among the GCC countries in 2005, where nine meetings were held, most recently in June 2007 in New Delhi. A convention on the avoidance of double taxation between the two countries was also signed in 1992.

The report also addressed direct foreign non-oil trade between the UAE and India. It said there was a 21% decrease in the total value of bilateral trade in 2014, compared with 2013, as a result of a 33% decline in the UAE's re-export traffic, dropping from US$8.6 billion in 2013 to US$5.8 billion in 2014.

National exports also fell by 31% during the same period, while the country's imports from India decreased by 12%. This decline has affected the value of trade balance, where the deficit has increased from US$3.45 billion in 2013 to US$6.29 billion in 2014.

The report also indicated a 16% decline in the total value of the UAE's free zone trade with India in 2014, compared with 2013, as a result of a 59% decline in the UAE free zone export traffic, the value of which dropped from US$738 million in 2013 to US$304 million in 2014.

Free zone re-exports also dropped by 28% during the same period, while free zone imports from India dropped by 3.5%. This decline has affected the trade balance, with the deficit increasing from US$1.9 billion in 2013 to US$2.8 billion in 2014.

The report said the total value of the UAE's non-oil exports to India amounted to about US$5.3 billion in 2014, a 31% drop from 2013. Gold, in its raw, semi-fabricated and powder forms, accounted for 59% of the total non-oil exports to India, worth a total US$3.16 billion, a 46.6% drop from 2013. This was followed by direct ornaments and jewellery, worth US$364 million in exports, a 41% rise from 2013, and copper wire exports, worth US$319 million, registering a 26% rise from 2013.

India is considered the UAE's third-largest trade partner in terms of imports, worth about US$17.4 billion in 2014, a 12.4% drop from 2013.

Sixty-seven per cent of the imports in 2014 were concentrated in 10 commodities. Gold, in all its forms, topped the list of imported goods, with a total value of US$4.6 billion, accounting for 26.4% of the UAE's total imports from India, a 1.5% drop from the previous year. Diamond came in second place, worth about US$3.2 billion, a 47% drop from 2013. Jewellery came in third place, worth US$2.1 billion, a 30% rise from the previous year. It is also worth noting that the country's imports of wheat rose by 179% in 2014.

In 2014, the UAE's re-exports to India decreased by 32.8%, compared to 2013, due to a 32.3% decline in the country's re- exports of diamonds, a 73.3% decline in the re-exports of precious and semi-precious stones, and a 57% decline in the value of re-exports of silver in its raw, semi-fabricated and powder forms, in addition to an 82% decline in the re-exports of telephones, despite a 6566% rise in the re-exports of hard drives and tapes.

The report addressed a number of indicators specific to the Indian economy. The value of foreign direct investments in India reached about US$34.4 billion in 2014, a 22.1% rise from US$28.2 billion in 2013. In contrast, Indian investment overseas rose from US$1.68 billion in 2013 to touch nearly US$9.8 billion in 2014, an 87% rise. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291437150.html


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India, UAE energy ties to grow as Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed visits India

posted on 11/02/2016

The cooperation between India and the UAE in the energy sector is expected to grow following the three-day visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India on Wednesday.

In an article in the Gulf News English Language daily, the paper said that 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. A number of new agreements are likely to be signed, including in oil and gas and renewable energy, as part of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's visit.

The paper quoted Robin Mills, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai-based Qamar Energy, as saying, "India is a growing energy market particularly with the Chinese demand slowing. So far we haven't seen very much action by the Indian energy companies in the UAE so might be interesting to see if Indian energy companies are going to play more of a role here."

He said that no Indian companies have yet participated in Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations, ADCO, concessions but that might change. "Certainly that would be an interesting opportunity. Abu Dhabi wants to tie up with some key customers and Indian companies want to expand their operations and play more role in the Middle East," he said.

Abu Dhabi has so far selected Japanese company, Inpex, Korean firm, GS Energy, and French oil giant, Total, for the concessions. Other companies are yet to be finalised.

The concessions, which last for 40 years, cover the fifteen principal onshore oilfields of Abu Dhabi and represents more than half of the Emirate's production.

When asked whether any of the UAE energy companies would be keen to invest in India, Mills said there is a lot of room for investment in the Indian energy sector, particularly in power generation.

Following the visit of the Indian Prime Minister in August, 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.

The paper also quoted Gary Dugan, Chief Investment Officer at Emirates NBD, as saying, "A Memorandum of Understanding already exists between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve. India is seen as an important customer for UAE oil and the cooperation could stretch to UAE investment in developing energy reserves of gas and oil in India."

He said the drop in the oil price will not have much impact on the commitment of the UAE to invest in India. "India is too large an opportunity for the current weakness of the oil price to prevent a significant commitment from the UAE towards helping India develop."

A number of UAE companies have invested in India, including in the energy sector. Abu Dhabi National Energy Company has a presence in India operating 250MW lignite-fired power plant in Neyveli in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Another power plant of the company in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh commenced operations last year.

India imports about 270,000 of crude oil per day, with the UAE being the sixth-largest supplier of the commodity to India. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291398060.html


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Indian Ambassador says Sheikh Mohamed's visit to India will further cement strategic partnership between two countries

posted on 11/02/2016

Indian Ambassador to the UAE, T.P Seetharam, has welcomed the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to India, saying that the visit of His Highness would help cement a "strategic partnership" between the two countries even further.

"We welcome His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to India. It is a matter of great privilege and honour for us that His Highness is visiting India soon after the visit of the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, to UAE in August 2015, and is a testimony of our close and friendly ties rooted in history, culture, economic and people-to-people exchanges over many decades," the Indian Ambassador said in a statement to WAM, on the occasion of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed's trip to India.

"During the visit of Indian Prime Minister in August 2015, we had agreed to elevate our relationship to that of a new and comprehensive "strategic partnership". The visit of His Highness will help to cement this partnership even further. A large number of bilateral, regional as well as multilateral issues are likely to be discussed. Several MoUs/Agreements, most notably in the areas of trade; investment; road transport and highways; energy including renewable energy, space, defence and human trafficking are maturing for possible signing during or after the visit as appropriate," read the statement.

The Indian Ambassador said that with bilateral trade at US$60 billion, the UAE is the third largest partner for India while India is the second largest trade partner of UAE in the world. Bilateral Trade had reached a peak in 2013-14, touching US$75 billion but it decreased due to imposition of 10% duty on imports of gold in India.

"During the Indian Prime Minister's visit, both sides had agreed to continue working together to increase bilateral trade by 60% to reach almost US$100 billion by 2020. To achieve these objectives, both sides are making efforts to diversify trade to encompass areas like food, textile, pharmaceuticals, machinery and transportation. Both sides also agreed to facilitate joint projects and collaboration between the public and private sectors of both countries. There is a great opportunity to increase trade volumes as UAE is a hub for exports and re-exports in the region."

In terms of investments, there is an estimated US$8 billion UAE investment in India of which around US$3.13 billion (June 2015) is in the form of foreign direct investment, while the remaining is portfolio investment. The UAE is the eleventh biggest investor in India in terms of foreign direct investment, FDI. There are around 20,000 Indian companies operating in the UAE.

"More than 2.6 million Indians are working in UAE which again is a sign of our close and friendly ties. It is the largest expatriate community in the UAE and is sending substantial remittances to their families in India. This is estimated to be nearly a half of what the Indian community sends to India from the gulf region and nearly one quarter of the estimated remittances by the Indian community in the entire world," according to his statement.

In conclusion, Mr Seetharam said, "India attaches a lot of importance to its expanding relationship with the UAE. Apart from being an economic hub, it is home to a large international community and represents the heart of Gulf and West Asia.

"The visit [of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed] will be yet another bridge that will bring our countries closer to each other by broadening and deepening our multi-dimensional engagement, in an environment of greater trust and understanding with close rapport between the visionary leaders on both sides that will benefit our peoples." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291437435.html


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UAE media delegation briefed on role of Centre for West Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi

posted on 11/02/2016

NEW DELHI: The UAE media delegation accompanying His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, during his current tour to India, has been briefed about the role and efforts of the Centre for West Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

The delegation, which represents different media institutions, discussed possibility of benefiting from the educational expertise. The delegation members were also briefed on the Gulf studies at the university.

The university officials and the delegation members reviewed the cultural and historic ties between the UAE and India, as well as challenges facing the research centres. The two sides agreed to strengthen co-operation.

Prof. A. K. Pasha, Director, Gulf Studies Programme, Centre for West Asian Studies, at Jawaharlal Nehru University, commended the role of the UAE in combating extremism and terrorism. "The UAE has become the world's icon in co-existence and tolerance among religions," he added.

He expressed his admiration at the comprehensive development being experienced by the UAE in the areas of culture, education, tourism, economy, investment, infrastructure and others. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291434722.html


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Indian newspaper praises Sheikh Mohamed for his leadership role in making life better and safer in the entire region

posted on 11/02/2016

NEW DELHI: An Indian newspaper has said that work undertaken under the leadership and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is laying a solid foundation for the improvement of life in various parts of the world.

In an article on the eve of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed's visit to India, the New Delhi-based Urdu language newspaper, The Daily Milap, in an article entitled 'Welcome Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed: A popular, influential and loved personality', has said that Arab culture has produced many personalities who have contributed to betterment in the world and laid a solid foundation for the prosperity of humanity. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has an important place in the list of such people. The steps taken by him to improve the lives of many people show their affect and radiate a sparkle lighting the world in its own way.

"It is a very difficult balance to keep the ancient Arab culture intact and yet bring the modern aspects in everyday use, but Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has done this with expertise, and he practices it in his life too. The magnanimity and helping attitude of Sheikh Mohamed is known to all in the Arab arena," read the article.

The newspaper says that work undertaken under his leadership and guidance is laying a solid foundation for the improvement of life in various parts of the world. "In politics and international relations, he has kept the idea of dialogue and co-operation as prime so that clash can be avoided, but this does not mean that he has compromised the security and defence of the UAE."

Under his guidance the UAE has undertaken many steps which has made life better and safer in the entire region. "This is the result of the thought process and wisdom which he inherited from his father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and has developed with the patronage of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

"Today, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed is coming to India. He will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with other leaders. The talks should not only be beneficial for both the nations but will also helpful in controlling violence and terrorism on the international stage," the paper concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291410687.html


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UAE, India have the power to shape the future

posted on 11/02/2016

As the UAE grew in strength as an important emerging power in the region, so did its outlook and horizon in terms of its relations with other countries, commented a local daily.

"It is from this position of strength that the UAE is actively charting out, on a global scale, for a broad spectrum of links, including those with regional and international powers," said Najla Al Rostamani in a column published by Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

"Constructing such bridges comes as a natural progression for a country that has become more proactive, vocal, and most importantly, aware of the shifting regional and global landscape.

"Steadfastly, confidently, and building on openness and cooperation, the UAE's foreign policy today aims at a focused strategy. Such an approach means that looking East has become as vital as it has been historically in looking towards the West. Hence, it was only natural that relations towards countries of power like China, Russia, and now India are cultivated.

"It is, therefore, within this context that UAE-India relations should be viewed. As His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, commences one of the most significant foreign visits, it is important to view UAE-India relations from a perspective of what it can achieve in the future, rather than just be confined to the past.

"Historically, even in the pre-oil era, the Arabian Gulf and India established relations via travel and trade. This created deep-rooted connections between the geographically distant regions - one that has survived the march of time.

"With the economic boom that was brought about by oil discoveries, the relationship has been governed more so by the commercial supply and demand economics. The Arabian Gulf countries have been a destination for thousands of blue collar workers who had flooded the region to join a labour force that was tasked, alongside others, in building massive infrastructure - one that constituted a basis for a modern state. In return, billions of earnings were repatriated back as India also became a recipient of a predominantly regionally provided oil. The UAE, of course, was no exception wherein trade relationships had strengthened over time as each side benefited economically from each other.

"But the circumstances today have vastly changed, not just for the UAE, but also for India as well. What each country has achieved over the decades has transformed its stance and status amongst nations. Furthermore, the geopolitical environment both in the region and globally has shifted on a variety of scales.

"For one thing, the region has witnessed the occasional syndrome of withdrawal by a major superpower. The US chose over the past few years an approach of either non-interference or a remote control 'hands off' policy approach with regards to several burning issues in the Middle East. What seemed like an 'on-off on-again' style created a vacuum that opened the doors for other destructive forces to step in. The region no longer belongs to a single hegemonic power; and the players are in abundance. At times, this was a blessing, yet on several occasions a curse as well.

"Hence, when it comes to relations between the UAE and India, the simplistic trade exchange is no longer the only binding element between the two countries. To confine the relationship to this decades old structure underestimates as much as undermines how complex both the UAE and India have evolved as nations of power.

"It is within this context that India can step in and strengthen its relations with the UAE and the rest of the Gulf countries. This offers an opportunity for it to play a positive part - one that goes beyond the limited historical role. It has a strong standing in Asia and with several south Asian countries, in addition to a significant presence within a wide range of international organisations. More importantly, no other country is better poised than the UAE when it comes to explaining and presenting the Arab stance and position on a plethora of issues and problems that are facing the Arab world today. It has established, over the past few years, a solid external outreach - one that has enabled it to become a country that can be counted upon in the region.

Al Rostamani concluded by saying, "The UAE has set course on several ambitious programmes in the fields of space exploration, development of education, arts and culture, technology, and renewable energy, to name a few. The areas of cooperation between the UAE and India is, therefore, poised to be one of strength for both nations as they have proficiencies that can be shared and learnt from each other." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291430115.html


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UAE and India are natural partners: paper

posted on 11/02/2016

A UAE newspaper has highlighted the official visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India, which began yesterday.

"Over the next three days, Sheikh Mohamed will meet India's senior leadership in Delhi, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee. The leaders are expected to sign 16 economic agreements worth billions of dollars across energy, information technology, aerospace and transport sectors," said The National in an editorial on Wednesday.

"This visit will be Sheikh Mohamed's first official trip to India and it comes on the heels of Mr Modi's fruitful visit to the UAE last August.

"India and the UAE have a long and positive history as allies that has been accentuated by the large Indian presence in the country. Nearly 2.6 million Indians – the largest UAE expatriate community – make their home here. They form a physical bridge between the countries. According to the World Bank, remittances from Indian expatriates in the UAE account for approximately US$13 billion (Dh47bn), while bilateral trade is about US$60bn. Moreover, many Indians have spent large portions of their working careers in the UAE, bringing with them traditions that have been woven into the country's unique cultural framework.

"India is one of the world's most powerful emerging markets. Economically, the country is a crucial area of trade for the UAE. Politically, India is a crucial link in geopolitical affairs across Asia. Under Mr Modi's leadership, India's economy has been robust. As The National reported yesterday, India has outpaced China in terms of GDP growth.

"Given our long-standing and close relationship with India, Sheikh Mohamed's visit is a reminder of the partnerships we have built together. As the global economy transforms and moves beyond its reliance on hydrocarbons, our economic partnership will take on new urgency with deeper cooperation.

"As such, the alliance between Abu Dhabi and New Delhi is part of the foundation of our regional economic security," concluded the Abu Dhabi-based daily. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291395943.html




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Khalifa approves the new 12th Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates

posted on 11/02/2016

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, approved the new cabinet of the federal government. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the twelfth government of the UAE as part of the largest structural change in the country's history. The announcement impacts organisational structure and functions of key ministries, and includes the support of several new Ministers of State to meet the ongoing demands of an evolving economic and social landscape.

The new government includes eight new ministers, five of whom are women. The average age of the new ministers is only 38 years, with the youngest minister is a 22 year old female.

The new government has seen the addition of ministers for Tolerance, the Future, Youth, Happiness and Climate Change. Supporting the education sector will be two new minsters in addition to the current minister, as well as the formation of the Supreme Council for Education to oversee their work, as well as the formation of the Youth Council and the Council of UAE Scientists.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that the new government and 12th Cabinet was announced after consultation with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and after the approval of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE. He affirmed that the new team would lead in achieving the future aspirations of the nation.

Following is the list of the new cabinet:

1. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Prime Minister and Minister of Defence

2. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior 3. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs

4. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Cabinet Member, Minister of Finance 5. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Cabinet Member, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

6. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan - Cabinet Member, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development

7. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi - Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Tolerance

8. Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi - Cabinet Member, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Future

9. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri – Cabinet Member, Minister of Economy

10. Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed bin Nasser Al Owais – Cabinet Member, Minister of Health and Prevention

11. Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash – Cabinet Member, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation

12. Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

13. Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Financial Affairs

14. Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for International Cooperation

15. Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Al Mazroui – Cabinet Member, Minister of Energy 16. Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi – Cabinet Member, Minister of Education

17. Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif AlNuaimi – Cabinet Member, Minister of Infrastructure Development

18. Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi – Cabinet Member, Minister of Justice

19. Najla bint Mohammed Al Awar – Cabinet Member, Minister of Community Development

20. Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Defence Affairs

21. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi – Cabinet Member, Minister of Climate Change and Environment

22. Jameela bint Salem Al Muhairi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for General Education

23. Dr. Ahmad bin Abdulla Humaid Belhoul AlFalasi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Higher Education

24. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber – Cabinet Member, Minister of State

25. Dr. Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi - Minister of State

26. Dr. Rashid bin Ahmed bin Fahad – Minister of State

27. Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi – Minister of State for Happiness

28. Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs

29. Shamma bint Sohail Faris AlMazrui – Minister of State for Youth Affairs

New Minister Profiles Najla Mohammed Al Awar – Cabinet Member, Minister of Community Development Najla Mohammed Al Awar is the Secretary General of the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and The Future. She oversees the General Secretariat of the Cabinet, which supports decision making and implementation at the Cabinet. She supervises the launch and operation of government initiatives and programmes, revision of government policies, and coordination to organise Cabinet Retreats that address vital issues to the government.

Al Awar played a vital role in setting up the Bureau of Legal Affairs in the General-Secretariat, responsible for drafting Cabinet decrees and laws, preparing legal studies, and providing legal support and knowledge for federal government.

Al Awar was involved in the establishment of the Executive Office of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the establishment of the Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai.

Al Awar is also on the boards of the General Authority for Pensions and Social Security, the National Election Committee and The Higher Committee for the National Curricula.

Najla Mohammed Al Awar holds a Bachelor Degree of Science in Information Technology from the UAE University. She has received extensive academic and professional training in the fields of management administration from the London Business School.

Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Defence Affairs Mohammed Al Bowardi is Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defence, UAE, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee and the Committee for Developing and Implementing the Water and Agriculture Strategy for Abu Dhabi, Vice Chairman of Dolphin Energy and a board member of Tawazun Holding.

He has served as Chairman of the executive committee and board member at the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi. He is also a member on the board of trustees of Abu Dhabi University.

He is also the Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency and Deputy Chairman of the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation. In 2015, he received the Environmental Personality Award by the Emirates Appreciation Award for the Environment.

Al Bowardi holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Sciences and History from the Lewis & Clark College in the United States.

Dr. Thani Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi – Cabinet Member, Minister of Climate Change and Environment Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi is currently the Ambassador Extraordinary Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He is also the Director at the directorate of Energy and Climate change at the Ministry of Foreign affairs since 2010. He also represents the UAE in the meetings of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

He serves as the Vice Chair and Member of Review Committee of Zayed Future Energy Prize, as well as a member of the Selection Committee. Dr. Al Zeyoudi is also the IRENA liaison officer at MASDAR, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi holds a PhD in Strategy, Programme & Project Management from SKEMA Business School at Lille, France. He has also earned a Master's in Project Management from the British University in Dubai, an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology in Abu Dhabi, and a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Tulsa, USA.

He is a member of the Environment Agency (Dh) in Abu Dhabi.

Jameela Salem Al Muhairi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for General Education Jameela Al Muhairi has a 20-year experience in the field of education management, which has been working towards the development of a world-class school performance management system for schools in Dubai through her post as the Chief of Dubai Schools Inspections Bureau at KHDA.

Her aim is to develop the education system in the UAE and help parents find appropriate schools for their children.

A graduate in Management from the UAE University in Al Ain, Al Muhairi has spent a number of years working with the Ministry of Education following which she was appointed as Director for Dubai Knowledge Village.

She also held the position of Executive Director for the Private Education sector in Dubai Education Council. She is a current a member of the Dubai Education Council, and a member of Dubai Cares.

Dr. Ahmad Abdulla Humaid Belhoul AlFalasi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Higher Education Dr. Ahmad Belhoul is Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, overseeing the company's strategic direction and development at the leading edge of the renewable energy and clean technology sector.

He was formerly Vice President at Mubadala, where he managed multi-billion dollar investments and stakeholder relationships in the metals and mining sector.

Prior to joining Mubadala, he worked as an advisor with McKinsey & Company.

Dr. Ahmad Belhoul has earned a masters' degree in telecommunications engineering from the University of Melbourne, and a PhD from Monash University.

Ohood Khalfan Al Roumi – Minister of State for Happiness Ohood Al Roumi is Director General of the Prime Minister's Office of the UAE. She oversees multiple strategic projects and initiatives such as the UAE Vision 2021, The National Agenda, the UAE Government Strategy, The Government Summit, Government Performance Management System "Adaa", Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre For Government Innovation, Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Program, Mohammed Bin Rashid Government Excellence Award, UAE Government Leaders Program, Emirates Government Service Excellence Program, Global Star Rating System for Services, Best M-Government Service and Mohammed Bin Rashid Policy Majlis.

The United Nations Foundation recently announced the selection of Ms. Al-Roumi for membership to the Global Entrepreneurship Council (GEC), making her the first Arab member in the council. Mos. Al Roumi also made the Young Global Leaders (YGL) list at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the year 2012 and is a board member of Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation.

Al-Roumi holds an Executive Master's in Business Administration (EMBA) from the University of Sharjah and a Bachelor's in Economics from the College of Business and Economics, United Arab Emirates University.

She is also a graduate from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Program for Leadership Development.

Noura Mohammed Al Kaabi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs Noura Al Kaabi is the Chief Executive Officer of the Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi (MZA) and twofour54, and a committee member of the UAE's Federal National Council and the Economic Development Committee.

Noura Al Kaabi is also member of the Economic Committee in the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Media Company, Image Nation, Flash entertainment, Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, United Arab Emirates University, Scientific Authority of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, National Archive Centre, and Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Award.

She is also Chairwoman of Emirates Media Measurement Company, and an advisory member of Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation.

Noura Al Kaabi is the first UAE national to be ranked on Foreign Policy magazine's ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers List'. In 2014, she was named among Forbes Middle East's 30 Most Influential Women in Government, and was awarded Business Woman of the Year at the Gulf Business Industry Awards.

Shamma Sohail Faris AlMazrui – Minister of State for Youth Affairs Shamma al Mazrui has obtained her Masters of Public policy with distinction from the University of Oxford. She was the first UAE Rhodes Scholar. She is also holder of a diploma of coursework on multi-sector partnerships at New York University. Her Bachelor of Science is in Arts and Economics from New York University in Abu Dhabi.

Shamma currently works at one of Abu Dhabi's Sovereign Wealth Funds. She has previously worked as a public policy analyst with the UAE Mission to the United Nations. She has also worked as a Ministry Policy Analyst with the Prime Minister's Office and participated in the Youth Lab Innovation Think Tank.

Shamma received the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed (Scholarship Coordination Office) Distinction Award in 2015, and the Coutts Future Leader 2015 Award. She also was an Academy of Achievement Delegate Scholar at the San Francisco Summit 2014.

Shamma participated in a number of leadership activities as she was the external relations liaison officer of the Oxford Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies forum (OxGAPS).

She was also the Alumni Relations Class Representative at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. She was also a co-founder and member of the NYUAD Al Nahda Institute. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291431106.html

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291432072.html

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Colombian President receives Abdullah bin Zayed

posted on 11/02/2016

BOGOTA: President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, last night received H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, in Bogota.

During the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah and the Colombian President discussed boosting cooperation relations between the two countries in various political, economic, investment, and trade fields as well as renewable energy, agricultural, and oil fields, in a way to achieve the common interest of both sides.

The two sides also exchanged views on current developments in the region.

The Colombian President welcomed the UAE Foreign Minister and his accompanying delegation, pointing out that his visit to Colombia reflects the keenness of UAE and Colombia's leaderships on exchanging visits and meetings, and further develop their bilateral relations to serve the interests of both countries and their friendly peoples. In this regard, President Santos stressed his country's keenness to strengthen bonds of cooperation with the UAE.

President Santos commended the economic developments achieved by the United Arab Emirates, expressing his hopes that the relationship between the two countries would witness further progress and prosperity.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the UAE has succeeded in creating an enabling, economic and political environment geared towards achieving a global standard of human and economic development, which contributes to making the UAE one of the leading countries in the world to attract foreign investment.

The meeting was attended by Khalid Ghanem Al Ghaith, Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs, and Mohammed Issa Alqattam Zaabi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Colombia. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291403217.html


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Abdullah bin Zayed chairs first meeting of UAE-Colombia Joint Committee

posted on 11/02/2016

BOGOTA: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, and Maria Angela Holguin, Colombian Foreign Minister, have chaired the first meeting of the UAE-Colombia Joint Committee.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed ways to strengthen economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Colombian Foreign Minister welcomed Sheikh Abdullah, stressing that his visit to the country will open up new horizons for bilateral cooperation in various fields. She also highlighted the UAE's outstanding stature on the global level.

The two sides discussed the progress and development witnessed by the cooperation between the two countries in various areas, in addition to reviewing ways of boosting them to serve the common interests of the two countries. They also exchanged views on a number of issues of common concern.

His Highness stressed the UAE's keenness to extend bridges of cooperation and strengthen relations with the Republic of Colombia to encourage investment and diversify areas of cooperation to serve the common interests of both sides.

The Colombian Foreign Minister commended the outstanding economic and trade partnership that combines the UAE and Colombia, wishing the UAE further successes in various fields and called for strengthening the partnership between the two countries.

At the end of the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah and his Colombian counterpart signed a number of agreements and MoUs, including the exchange of information for tax purposes, cultural cooperation, educational and sportive cooperation, in addition to a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of environmental protection, climate change and energy along with the signing of the minutes of the first meeting of the Joint Committee.

Sheikh Abdullah and Mos. Holguin also attended the signing of two MoUs in the tourism field, small and medium enterprises and innovation, in addition to a Memorandum between the Federation of UAE Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Business Association of Colombia.

During a joint press conference with his Colombian counterpart on the occasion of the first meeting of the UAE-Colombia Joint Committee, Sheikh Abdullah expressed his pleasure at visiting Bogota.

He added that the UAE considers Colombia a trustworthy partner in Latin America, expressing his happiness on the outstanding bilateral relations, which have developed significantly in various fields.

He also commended the Colombian President's keenness to strengthen bilateral relations between Colombia and the UAE, pointing out that the signing of agreements between the two countries will contribute to the development of bilateral relations in the field of trade in addition to a number of areas.

The UAE Foreign Minister pointed out that he and his Colombian counterpart discussed cooperation opportunities in the aviation, tourism, agriculture, sports and energy sectors, stressing that the UAE appreciated Colombia's vision pertaining to sustainable development and its effective role in the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA.

He expressed confidence in the continuing development of the relations between the two countries, looking forward to working with Colombian partners toward a more prosperous future for both countries.

The UAE delegation accompanying the Foreign Minister also held a number of meetings with the Colombian side. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291408724.html


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UAE has given Dh1.64 billion aid to Yemen

posted on 11/02/2016

Two million Yemenis have benefited from Dh1.64 billion in humanitarian aid from the UAE.

The Ministry of International Cooperation and Development says the focus of the aid has been food, energy, health, education and water. Funds were also used to rebuild and repair infrastructure.

The assistance has reached nine Yemeni governorates. Aden, Taiz, Lahj, Al-Dalea, Shabwa, Abyan, Hadramaut, Al-Mahara, and Marib were the main beneficiaries in addition to the island of Socotra.

Eleven hospitals and 154 schools were supported by the UAE's assistance, as well as ports, airports, power stations, water facilities and medical centres. More than 100 wells were drilled to provide residents with clean water.

The UAE has also announced it will provide an extra US$20 million (Dh73.6m) to support humanitarian operations run by UN agencies and the International Red Crescent working in Yemen.

Emergency power stations were also provided by the UAE to restore the electricity in Aden. This have significantly contributed to the return of electricity and return of life back

to the city, the ministry said.

The UAE is backing its humanitarian assistance with action towards supporting recovery and rehabilitation of all sectors and institutions that are key to the war torn country's stability.

An increasing number of people are affected by the crisis in Yemen and it is posing a serious challenge to the international community due to damage to essential infrastructure in many cities of the war-torn country, the ministry said.

Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai this week, Yemeni prime minister Khaled Bahah said efforts are underway to end terror attacks in the country, with the military focused on liberating the city of Taez. He said the country has a vision to reconstruct after the war. - The National - http://www.thenational.ae/uae/uae-has-given-dh164-billion-aid-to-yemen

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Mohammed bin Rashid honours winners of Creative Governments innovations Award

posted on 11/02/2016

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has honoured winners of the Creative Governments innovations Award, one of the main events accompanying the World Government Summit, which concluded yesterday under the motto 'Shaping Future Governments.

Sheikh Mohammed honoured representatives of Mozambique and Tanzania, which are conducting a project utilising rats in explosives detection and diseases in cooperation with the Belgian non-governmental organisation APOPO.

Sheikh Mohammed said, 'Creative innovations are one of the most important ways to improve services and make great leaps in them."

"We wish to make a positive impact by highlighting such experiments and displaying them before all governments and the World Government Summit platform is the best as its main mission is to explore the future."

The Creative Government Innovation Award aims to shed light on the successful and innovative government experiences and represents an opportunity to exchange knowledge, expertise while empowering officials to try innovative and technical equipment which would contribute to preparing for the future and manage their governments in accordance with their huge budgets.

The event aims to highlight the UAE expertise and enhance the role played by the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI) to support the efforts aimed at achieving the UAE Vision 2021 and the national innovation strategy. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291434248.html


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Mohammed bin Rashid honours winners of best M-government services

posted on 11/02/2016

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, yesterday honoured the winners of the awards to recognise the best government services on smartphone.

Sheikh Mohammed said the massive number of contestants has shown how the world realises the importance of improving m-government services and of transforming into smart governments.

"The award reflects the UAE's keenness to set a ground-breaking example. It also highlights the UAE's pioneering role in providing excellent government services," he said.

Sheikh Mohammed said that governments' success is measured by the quality of services offered to their peoples.

The award ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC), H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Chairman of the World Government Summit.

Sheikh Mohammed honoured winners of the award's ten categories, including: T Jacket from Singapore was announced the winner in the Smart Wearable Technology category.

T Jacket is a body system used in special needs education for kids with autism.

At the national level in this category, Dubai Police's app that allows for traffic fines to be paid online was adjudged the winner.

In the One-Stop app category, mobileOne from India was adjudged the winner.

mobileOne brings together services of multiple state and central government departments as well as private service providers.

At the regional level, Kuwait's Egovkw was announced the winner. Its E govt gate provides government services data in Arabic and English.

At the national level in this category, DubaiNow, Dubai's smart government app was adjudged the winner. The app provides comprehensive smart government services.

In the health sector, ForceFit from New Zealand was adjudged the winner at the international level. The app prepares recruits for a fitness test.

On the regional level, Rendezvous from Morocco bagged the award in this category. The app manages hospital rendezvous, appointment schedules, etc.

On the national level in this category, Haad Abu Dhabi was adjudged the winner. The app allows users to find out about services in the field of health.

In the economy and commerce sector, the international winner was Occupation Outlook from New Zealand. It allows students to make career choices.

In the environment sector, the international winner was Energy Watch from Sweden. It allows users to control energy levels as well as provides information on payment of bills and services.

In the transport sector, the international winner was ID Pass from France while AdM mobile from Morocco was adjudged regional winner. AdM Mobile helps drive on highways.

At the national level in this category, RTA was adjudged the winner.

In the education sector, the international winner was School A to Z from Australia. The regional winner was Safeer from Saudi Arabia. Its app gives higher education follow-ups. At the national level, Wajehni, the app from Ministry of Labour, was adjudged the winner.

In the Social Affairs sector, National Relay Service from Australia (app for the hearing impaired) was adjudged the international winner.

On the regional level, ‘How do I pay Zakat' from Oman was the winner. The app helps calculate Zakat. The national winner was Awqaf, Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments for direction of Qibla.

In the Safety and Security category, Spain's AlertCops was adjudged the winner. The app allows users to report security issues to police stations. The regional winner was Royal Oman Police whose app provides services about traffic, fines, etc. The national winner was the Dubai Police app.

In the Tourism category, the international winner was My Hong Kong Guide while Visit Jordan was the winner at the regional level and DTCM's Visit Dubai bagged the award at the national level.

In the University apps, the national level winner was NYU Abu Dhabi Road Watch, an interface to know situation of roads and traffic and warnings. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291432467.html


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Sheikh Ahmed: We are working to redesign the airspace of the UAE

posted on 11/02/2016

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group, has announced that Dubai is prepared to help other countries with their air traffic navigation as part of its policy, Speaking at the 2016 World Government Summit, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed said that redesigning airspace is good for "cost and efficiency".

"If we manage our airspace, it is in the best interest I think; we can save another 12% from our cost," he said. "Many aircraft are going round and round and circling for almost half an hour or so. That shouldn't be the case."

But for the Middle East to open up more airspace, "it is always [up to] government" he explained.

"We are working to redesign the airspace of the UAE. I must say, on a military side, they've been very helpful. Also, this problem doesn't exist only within the UAE. You always have to look at your neighbour. Do they have the capacity to manage aircraft pushed on them? "It's a business case at the end of the day. We of course will help neighbours with their air traffic system problems if need arises." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291403677.html


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Al Tayer: We are endeavouring to raise RTA global profile

posted on 11/02/2016

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has said the sponsoring of the 4th World Government Summit 2017 by the RTA is part of efforts to enhance RTA's standing at the global stage.

There is no better platform to showcase the RTA other than the World Government Summit, the most important global event for shaping the future, enhancing cooperation between public and private sectors, and developing visionary & creative solutions for an array of common challenges facing governments worldwide.

"The World Government Summit is an important platform for debating and sharing ideas in a bid to step up the performance efficiency across the board. Over the past years, the RTA had embarked on boosting cooperation and partnership with a number of global organisations. In this regard it has made an agreement with the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) whereby MENA Centre for Transportation Excellence has been established, and the MENA Transportation Congress & Exhibition is being held in Dubai biennially for ten years," he added.

Al Tayer said in collaboration with the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, Emaar Properties, and the PMI, The RTA held the Dubai International Project Management Forum; the second edition which has witnessed the launch of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Project Management Innovation Award.

"The Award, which carries a purse of US$550,000, aims at identifying, rewarding, motivating, and promoting innovation in project management. This can best be realised through developing an innovative project management methodology, providing databases comprising the best practices & business models of project management, setting up a platform for sharing innovative ideas, and offering training on project management skills," explained Al Tayer. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291441281.html


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International Cooperation in Building Cities of Future

posted on 11/02/2016

The population of Dubai is expected to increase to five million by 2030. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, stated that as a consequence of increasing population and depleting natural resources, there is a parallel increase on demand on education, energy, employment, housing and all the other issues.

Mayors and key representatives of sister cities and organisations gathered to sign the ‘Dubai Charter of Sustainable Development Cities Alliance' seeking to collaboratively achieve the vision of building a sustainable future for Dubai.

Participants came together on the final day of the 4th World Government Summit to primarily discuss about sustainable development of future cities in a roundtable session entitled "Shaping Future Cities."

Hussain Nasser Lootah highlighted the challenges that governments face when planning a sustainable city that not only places people's welfare at the forefront, but also preserves the natural resources. Representatives shared views on the aspect that international conventions and covenants would be essential in building cities that would preserve natural resources and achieve balanced sustainability. The experts concurred that prioritising welfare of the communities and natural resources is equally important for the benefit of future generations.

Mayors of Ankara, Casablanca, Amman, and Al Maddinah exchanged successful experiences in building sustainable communities that reduce utilisation of traditional energy and focus on renewable energy or alternative sources of energy.

Manvita Bardai, Director of International Capital Market Association-India, also added that in order for cities to remain on the correct path of prosperity and sustainability and ensure leaders take the right steps to achieve high standard of quality in cities, data needs to be assembled and shared with global communities.

Whether it be improving the traffic congestion, managing waste, or promoting environmental awareness to communities, Hussain Nasser Lootah added that the current model of cities would not be sufficient to realise future requirements of the community. To prepare for a brighter, sustainable future, he reiterated the importance of developing institutional partnerships and exchanging of information with other countries.

The discussion was attended by Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality; Musabah Mubarak Al Marar, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Municipality; Ahmed Al Subaih, Secretary General of Arab Towns Organisation; Dr. Bilal Hamad, Mayor of Beirut; Melih Gokcek, Mayor of Ankara; Akel E. Biltaji, Mayor of Amman; Alain Claude Galliano, Vice President of Metropole de Lyon; Dr. Khalid Taher, Mayor of Al Maddinah Province; Gauthier Claude Jacques Dupont, Director of Clean Energy & Sustainability Services; Dr. Thikra Mohammed Alwash, Mayor of Baghdad; Abdullah Emadi, Deputy General Manager of Kuwait Municipality; Mohammed Ahmed Sultan Al Khalifa, Director General of Al Manama Municipality; Mohamed Sadiki, Mayor of the city of Al Rabat and Manvita Baradi, Director of ICMA, India. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291437567.html


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Disruptive technology could radically reshape cargo industry, DP World Chairman tells World Government Summit

posted on 11/02/2016

The use of drones and high speed transport systems such as Hyperloop to move and deliver cargo could radically impact large ports like Jebel Ali with cargo going straight to customers, as cargo handlers increasingly adopt smart technological solutions to facilitate trade across the globe.

Speaking at the World Government Summit, in Dubai, Sultan bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World and Chairman of Dubai's Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said he foresees a day when seaports either move inland, or become obsolete, as a result of disruptive technology reshaping the cargo industry.

In response to growing competition and to meet the twin challenges of moving cargo quickly and efficiently as global trade expands, Bin Suleyam said DP World will continue to invest in the latest technology to fully automate its work.

"It used to be said that if you hired two hands you got the brain for free. Today, we live in the age of the brain and we are using people's brains to transform our business into smart business," bin Suleyam said. "Instead of being dockside, our staff is more likely to be found in offices, driving the growth of the business."

In 2016, Jebel Ali Free Zone and its container port accounted for 20 per cent of Dubai's GDP. By 2025, this will grow to 50 per cent of Dubai's GDP. "Such rapid growth creates challenges but where there are challenges there are opportunities," Bin Sulayem noted.

"A crane operator can only work for three hours at a time due to the physical demands of the job. So we decided to automate the work," said bin Sulayem. "Then we found that many young female UAE nationals wanted to be crane operators. But, when they started work they asked why they had to be in Jebel Ali. So, we decided to build a crane operating centre in Port Rashid that will handle all crane operations at Port Rashid and Jebel Ali."

DP World, which has operations in 31 countries, enables trade in 50 per cent of the global economy, Bin Sulayem told the summit. Among its operations are the London Gateway, Europe's largest logistics park in the United Kingdom, and the highly automated Rotterdam World Gateway in Holland. DP World, has also invested in 51 start-ups as part of its Terminal Infinity innovation strategy, after looking at over 8,000 potential investments in the past two years.

The World Government Summit has convened over 3,000 personalities from 125 countries. The summit aims to explore more than 70 topics through keynote speakers and major interactive sessions, drawing the participation of world leaders, ministers, decision makers, CEOs, innovators, officials, experts, entrepreneurs, academics, and university students. A number of initiatives, reports and studies are set to be launched during the summit and throughout the year. WGS 2016 concluded yesterday (February 10) at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395291436831.html


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du and SAP launch cloud services in UAE

posted on 11/02/2016

UAE government enterprises will soon gain access to some of the world's smartest applications in 2016, thanks to a strategic partnership signed yesterday by du and SAP software company. during the World Government Summit.

The partnership works to support the commitment to nationwide digitisation and innovation. The UAE Vision 2021 aims for the country to become one of the Top 10 in the world in INSEAD's Global Innovation Index and in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index over the next five years.

Combining du's Infrastructure as a Service with SAP's Software as a Service creates a unique off-the-shelf product – helping the UAE evolve to a cloud-based model, in line with global market trends.

In line with the UAE Vision 2021, and as a result of this strategic partnership, du will support UAE federal and local government agencies, and private enterprises, with SAP's innovative private cloud-based applications hosted on a state-of-the-art data centre in the UAE.

With real-time private cloud applications, organisations can become more efficient and agile, scale up more easily with their business growth, and gain in-depth insights into operations, employee productivity, and the user experience. UAE organisations can also save money, as the cloud solutions are pay-as-you-go without additional capital investment needed in hardware, infrastructure, applications, or licenses.

Carlos Domingo, Senior Executive Officer, New Businesses and Innovation, du, said: "We're doing all we can to equip the UAE to become a global leader in innovation. This partnership fast-tracks the adoption of world class digital services in the UAE by making them more cost effective and easier to attain. Now customers won't have to face a massive up-front investment to increase their productivity with these services - they will only pay for what they use."

Organisations using these applications will be able to leverage the advanced network infrastructure of du, combined with the real-time analytics capabilities of the SAP S4/HANA business suite, which runs on the real-time SAP HANA platform.

Steve Tzikakis, Senior Vice President and General Manager, SAP South Europe, Middle East, and Africa, said: "With the market demand for private cloud applications growing in the region, SAP is further driving our co-innovation partnership with du to support the UAE's digital agenda. By leveraging global best practices and solutions, SAP is committed to using the power of the cloud to allow employees and customers to more easily engage with organisations." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395291419555.html


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ADNOC distribution announces further reduction on retail price of unsubsidised LPG cylinders

posted on 11/02/2016

ADNOC Distribution has announced the new retail price of unsubsidised LPG cylinders for February 2016.

As per the announcement that is set on the 10th of every month, the new retail price is as follows: Dh42 per 25lb cylinder down from the earlier marked retail price of Dh44, and Dh83 per 50lb cylinder from the earlier marked retail price of Dh88.

Khalid Hadi, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications Division at ADNOC Distribution, said, "The new prices reflect the global surge in the pricing of the product. ADNOC Distribution is committed to monitoring the markets as well as following up with all relevant stakeholders in the UAE to guarantee fair implementation of the new pricing. The company wishes to reiterate its priority to provide best-in-class products and services at the most fair prices to its loyal customers."

For holders of Rahal e-Gas cards, ADNOC Distribution offers LPG cylinders at subsidised prices - Dh20 for 25lb cylinders and Dh30 for 50lb cylinders, across Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395291412065.html


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International experts discuss key issues concerning people with disabilities

posted on 11/02/2016

Early Intervention is the key to help children with specific disorders. The government has introduced a host of initiatives that will not only enhance the lives of people with disabilities but also integrate them into the society, according to a Dubai government official.

Dr. Hussain Ali Maseeh, Expert – Programme and Social Services Sector, Community Development Authority, Dubai Government, was speaking at the inaugural session of Knowledge Centre, part of the three-day AccessAbilities Expo 2016 at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Experts from the UK, Switzerland, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE will talk about issues concerning disabled people and the latest practices, with a view to presenting effective, implementable measures and benefitting over 50 million people having disabilities across the Middle East, in line with the ‘My Community a city for everyone' initiative of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai executive Council, aimed at inclusion and empowering people with disabilities.

AccessAbilities Expo is being held under the patronage of under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.

The Expo is being organised by Reed Exhibitions Middle East and Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management.

Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said, "The Knowledge Centre has brought in international experts to talk about every possible area touching the lives of the people with disabilities. The discussions are educative as well as thought-provoking and the valuable insights from these experts from all over the world will result in effective and implementable strategies, that can benefit millions of people with disabilities in the region."

Highlighting the need to create a supportive environment, Maseeh, who is an expert in the Social Development and Care sector in Community Development Authority, said: "Creating an optimum environment is vital and Early Intervention helps do that. The services are conducted in regular setting where people with special conditions are provided services in natural settings. This will help them a smooth integration process," he added. Natural setting includes home, school, playground, parks, outings, etc.

He said inspired by the Vision 2020, many departments are already actively using technologies that make transactional procedures accessible for people with disabilities. Systems have been put in place to integrate people with disabilities into the workforce and also into the society.

Sabine Mokbel-Hammoud from Stars for Special Abilities, UAE, said if a child was not meeting the required development stages in the first three years of birth, it would be time parents acted and sought help or consultation. Her talk was illustrated with helpful hints for parents. "Family is key to Early Intervention," she said.

"With their support we can help individuals to cope with their disabilities faster," she added.

If the child with disabilities has siblings, they should be invited to join them in sessions as it will only encourage the child further, she advised. Children with disabilities should be given the chance to express their imagination and creativity. For example, let them get involved in daily activities such as shopping, eating or playing by themselves. "This will help them get responsible and confident," she said.

According to Sabine, parents should set realistic expectations. "Though we want the best for them, the goals should be achievable and realistic," she said, otherwise there are chances that they will get frustrated. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291445822.html


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Global Women’s Forum Dubai will explore social initiatives, ideas and new innovative approaches to ‘give back’ to communities

posted on 11/02/2016

Strategic Partner of Global Women's Forum Dubai, du, is set to explore innovative approaches to supporting the community during five key sessions at Global Women's Forum Dubai this month.

Co-organised by Dubai Women Establishment and the Women's Forum for the Economy & Society, Global Women's Forum Dubai will take place on 23-24 February 2016 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, under the patronage of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; and led by H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment and wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

du will lead the ‘Social Impact' hub at the Global Women's Forum Dubai Discovery exhibition. The Discovery, which is the signature creativity space at the heart of Women's Forum for the Economy & Society meetings, will provide a unique opportunity for delegates to meet, share, learn and be inspired through interactive sessions and workshops.

The ‘Social Impact' hub will build on one of the Forum's five pillars, Giving, and one of the main plenary topics, ‘Creating Lasting Social Impact', which will explore the importance of social projects in yielding new approaches to social impact, and serving up new models for making change.

du's sessions will showcase how the mobile communications and technology provider is supporting the community through innovative Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and enhancing the role of women in the communications and technology industry. The sessions will explore a range of topics, from the positive impact of du's BabNoor app, the first Arabic cloud-based app enabling easy and effective communication for children with autism, and equality in business, to measuring the social return on investment. A session will also be hosted by Dr. Hong Sheng Chiong, Founder and CIO of OphtalmicDocs, New Zealand, who has pioneered a low-cost solution to diagnosing and monitoring eye disease.

Hala Badri, Executive Vice President of Brand and Communications at du, said, "du is deeply committed to encouraging and supporting female participation in the workforce and Global Women's Forum Dubai will provide a vital platform for driving that goal forward, on a global scale. Giving back to the community is an important responsibility for all businesses and during Global Women's Forum Dubai, we will be exploring du's innovative approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility and how we can all create a lasting social impact within our communities." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291424095.html


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