This handout image provided by the UAE Ministry Of Presidential Affairs shows UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan welcoming Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi during an official reception at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, on July 15, 2023. © Ryan CARTER / UAE’s Ministry of Presidential Affairs / AFP
The prospect comes on the heels of Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in July This handout image provided by the UAE Ministry Of Presidential Affairs shows UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan welcoming Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi during an official reception at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, on July 15, 2023. © Ryan CARTER / UAE’s Ministry of Presidential Affairs / AFP
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is considering investing $50 billion in India amid strengthening trade ties between the two Asian economic powerhouses. As part of the push to bolster trade ties, entities tied to Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan have already discussed plans to invest billions of dollars in the south Asian country, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Tahnoon is UAE president Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s brother and has close ties to Gautam Adani, an Indian magnate seen as close to prime minister Narendra Modi. Some of the investments could involve sovereign wealth funds such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Mubadala Investment and ADQ. Notably, Sheikh Tahnoor is the chairman of both ADIA and ADQ.
The UAE could announce provisional pledges as early as next year, the report claimed, adding that deals being discussed “include stakes in key Indian infrastructure projects and state-owned assets.” However, these “pledges” are unlikely to have “clear timelines,” the sources told the outlet.
The investments would likely follow Modi’s visit to the Gulf country in July 2024. The Indian prime minister recently visited Abu Dhabi for the fifth time since he assumed office nine years ago. The last Indian prime minister to have visited the Gulf nation was Indira Gandhi, in 1981. The anticipated deals would assume extra significance as Modi seeks a third term as India’s prime minister next year.
The UAE’s vision for investing in India, the fastest-growing major economy in the world, comes on the heels of the Qatar Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund undertaking major investments in the country.
In August, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, announced that it has attracted investment of $1.1 billion from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is the 19th largest foreign investor in India, with a cumulative spend of $3.2 billion from April 2000 to March 2023, according to government portal Invest India.
These latest developments come amid New Delhi and Abu Dhabi’s efforts to increase non-oil bilateral trade to $100 billion. According to Reuters, bilateral trade between India and UAE was $84.5 billion in 2022-23.
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