The scheme reflects the nation's commitment to ending sexual and gender-based violence; substantially reduce pending cases of rape and POCSO Act, relieving the burden on the judicial system.
After a historic two-day visit of France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday concluded a day-long visit of “tremendous strategic significance” to the UAE, witnessing exchange of agreements on economic convergence and trade settlement in local currencies between the two countries.
The Prime Minister received a dazzling welcome in Abu Dhabi as the iconic Burj Khalifa was lit up in the colours of the Indian national flag. As a part of the light-and-sound show, the skyscraper also showcased PM Modi’s picture, followed by “Welcome Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
PM Modi was welcomed by Sheikh Khaled Bin Mohamed Bin Zayed, President of UAE and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi at the airport. Expressing his gratitude over warm welcome to the Gulf nation, the Prime Minister took to Twitter to say “Grateful to Crown Prince HH Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for welcoming me at the airport today.”
Briefing about the short but significant visit, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said it showcased and underscored the deep bond of friendship and trust between the Prime Minister and the President of the UAE. They had signed last year the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
Since then, Kwatra said, trade and economic partnership has grown significantly between the two countries. This time, a number of agreements have been signed to enhance economic convergence. One of them was for trade settlement in local currencies and another on the interlinking of payment and messaging systems of the two countries.
The Foreign Secretary said what the agreements do essentially is that they put together important segments of the ecosystem in economic engagements and bring about “ever increasing greater strategic economic convergence between the two economies.” This will reduce transaction time and cost, increasing ease of business, he said.
The visit will perhaps open up new pathways for India to look at structuring similar partnerships with other countries both in the region and beyond, Mr Kwatra said.
Another landmark agreement signed was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for planning to establish a campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)–Delhi in Abu Dhabi. This is important not just in terms of educational relations, but will strengthen people to people ties and partnerships of at the level of students, he said.
The Foreign Secretary said the “visit has been of great significance, it puts in place new foundations for partnership in economic domain which will bring together greater strategic convergence.”
During the day, Modi met Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of CoP28 and Group CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in Abu Dhabi.
Their discussions took place on the forthcoming COP-28 of UNFCCC under UAE’s Presidency. Dr Jaber briefed the Prime Minister on UAE’s approach to this important meeting.
The Prime Minister conveyed India’s full support to UAE for its COP-28 Presidency. Prime Minister also highlighted India’s efforts and initiatives to address climate change, including the International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, International Year of Millets and Mission Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE). The discussions also covered energy cooperation between India and UAE.
Referring to the MoUs signed, the Prime Minister tweeted on the currency agreement “This is a very important aspect of India-UAE cooperation. It paves the way for enhanced economic collaboration and will make international financial interactions simpler.”
On the IIT Delhi MoU, he tweeted: “This marks a significant stride in our educational internationalisation and is testament to India’s innovation prowess. Education is the bond that unites us, it’s the spark that ignites innovation. Together, we will leverage this power for mutual prosperity and global betterment.”
It was stated the local currency settlement agreement will also include the mutual acceptance of domestic card schemes by interlinking national card switches. Integration between these systems will enhance access to payment services for the benefit of the citizens and residents of the two countries.
A Joint Statement issued on the conclusion of the visit said the two leaders “acknowledged that the UAE became the fourth largest investor in India in 2022-2023, compared to the seventh in 2021-2022. They appreciated the plan of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) to set up a presence in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), a financial free zone in Gujarat, in the next few months. This will further facilitate investment opportunities for the UAE in India.”
The two leaders reaffirmed their joint commitment to the fight against extremism and terrorism, including cross-border terrorism, in all forms, at both the regional and international levels.
A Joint Statement was issued on Climate Change also, stating “The leaders committed to enhance cooperation on climate ambition, decarbonization, and clean energy, and work together to have tangible and meaningful outcomes from the 28th Session of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties.”