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Sort out ‘legacy issues’ of some big investments: UAE to India

PTI | New Delhi |

Ahead of the talks between Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, the UAE has sought "legacy issues" of some of the big investments of its companies be sorted out as well as relaxation in FDI in sectors like ports and real estate.

Al Nahyan, who is arriving here on Tuesday and will be Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade on Thursday, will hold talks with Modi on strengthening cooperation in key areas including energy, defence, security and trade after which two sides will ink Strategic Cooperation Agreement.

Asserting that the UAE wants better, stronger economic ties, UAE Ambassador Ahmed Al Banna told PTI in an interview that his country "wants to see that the legacy issues of some of the big investments of UAE companies sorted out.

"We want to open new doors for new investments. We would like to see relaxation of certain rules and regulations in FDI including ports, real estates, IT and communication".

UAE companies that are facing issues in India with regard to their investments include telecom firm Etisalat, marine terminals developer DP World, Emaar (realty) and TAQA (energy).

Following a Supreme Court order cancelling its 13 telecom licences, Etisalat exited from India operations and has sought refund of the licence fee as well as bank guarantees.

The two countries have been among each other's top trading partners with a well-balanced bilateral trade of about USD 50 billion in 2015-16.

The UAE is among the top investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments and contributes significantly to India's energy security. It was also the fifth largest supplier of crude oil to India in 2015-16.

Al Banna also noted that while thirty years ago the bilateral trade was only USD 28 million, it is now USD 50 billion and has put the trade ties and the entire partnership on a different "track".