India and United Arab Emirates on 12 December 2013 signed a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) that would accelerate fresh capital investments of UAE in India.
The BIPPA agreement was signed by Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, the Minister of State for Financial Affairs of UAE and Namo Narain Meena, the Minister of State for Finance of India. At present the Foreign Minister of UAE, Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan is on a visit to India.
The BIPPA has been worked on as an exception to the norm of India to freeze all BIPPA agreements until a new template is in place. UAE wants to explore major infrastructure projects in India but was waiting till the signature of the BIPPA.
India and UAE are the largest trading partners of each other with the total bilateral trade of 75 billion dollars. At present, the UAE invests in India about 3 billion dollar. UAE controls the second largest Sovereign Wealth Fund in the world under the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
At present, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) wants to invest 700 million dollars in Himachal Pradesh in the electricity sector, whereas the DP World Operations is aimed at expansion of their footprint in the port sector in India.
In February 2013, India-UAE High Level Task Force on Investments that was set up to speed up investment opportunities met but before proceeding UAE wanted to conclude the BIPPA. This signing of the agreement has opened the possibilities of High Level Task Force meetings in January 2014 to explore investment opportunities.
With the signing of the India-UAE BIPPA, India now has such agreements with all GCC countries, which also opened the possibilities of pursuing India-GCC Free Trade Agreement, which has been on the backburner so far.
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