Brief on India-UAE Bilateral Relations
India has had social and mercantile contact with the region comprising the seven Emirates, which now form the United Arab Emirates, since at least 3000 B.C. The relationship between India and UAE has been traditionally close and friendly and rests on firm foundations of political, economic and cultural links. People-to-people contacts and barter trade for clothes and spices from India in exchange for dates and pearls from the region have existed for centuries. Sharjah and Dubai were the main hubs for trade with the western coast of India and, in particular, the Malabar Coast. Following the accession of H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and the rapid development of Abu Dhabi thereafter and subsequently of the other Emirates, after the creation of the Federation in 1971, India-UAE relations flourished. Following the demise of H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 2004, his son H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has taken over as the President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi. The bilateral relations have been on the upswing as a result of regular high-level interactions. Today UAE is home to over one million Indians. A large Indian expatriate community resides and engages in the UAE in economically productive activities.
Exchange of High Level Visits:
There have been a large number of important visits/bilateral contacts between India and the UAE at the level of President/PM/EAM and the Rulers of UAE: President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan visited India in January 1975 (1.1.1975 to 5.1.1975) and April 1992 (28.4.1992 to 30.4.1992). President H.E. Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed visited UAE in November 1976 and Prime Minister H.E. (Mrs.) Indira Gandhi in May 1981 (11.5.1981 to 13.5.1981). H.H. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council of UAE and Ruler of Sharjah, visited India in May 1982 (27.5.1982 to 7.6.1982), H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai(25.3.2007 to 26.3.2007)
Recent High-level Visits:
President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, accompanied by a high-level delegation, which included Mr. Arun Shourie, Minister of Disinvestment, Communications and Information Technology, paid a State visit to UAE from October 18 - 20, 2003.
During his visit, President held discussions with Sheikh Khalifa, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, who expressed the hope that the visit would contribute to further strengthen historical relations between the two countries in various fields, particularly economic and trade spheres. President Kalam also had discussions with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, Sheikh Mohammed, Deputy Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chief of UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Hamdan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. President Kalam lauded the progress achieved by the UAE in various fields under the dynamic leadership of President Sheikh Zayed and said that India was looking forward to boost its ties with the UAE in economic, trade and investment fields with UAE.
President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, accompanied by a high-level delegation, that included Shri E. Ahmed, MoS for External Affairs, Shri P.R. Chauhan, MoS in Prime Minister's Officers and senior officials, visited Abu Dhabi on November 3-4, 2004 to offer condolences. President Kalam met Crown Prince Sheikh Khalifa Zayed (now President) and offered condolences to the bereaved Al Nahyan family and UAE leadership. President Kalam also held a condolence meeting on the evening of 3rd November, 2004 along with prominent NRIs and a 2-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to the departed leader. President Kalam described Sheikh Zayed as not only the founder of the UAE but also a great human being, an architect and visionary, who built the UAE from humble beginnings to the present prosperous nation and that his life was synonymous with the lifeline and growth of the UAE itself.
A high level delegation led by Deputy Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chief of Staff of UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan including UAE Minister for Information and Culture, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Head of Abu Dhabi Economic Department, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other officials visited India from June 29 - July 1, 2003. The delegation, during its visit, met President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha and Defence Minister George Fernandes and Leader of the Opposition Sonia Gandhi. At the inaugural meeting of a 'Strategic Dialogue', a number of issues including cooperation in security and defence related matters came up for discussions. An Agreement on Defence Cooperation was also signed between the two sides. There was agreement that the 'Strategic Dialogue' would be held annually.
H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, accompanied by a high-level official delegation as well as business and media personalities paid his first State visit to India from March 25-26. During the visit, during the visit, he held discussions with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, EAM Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of Indian National Congress & Chairperson of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Smt. Sonia Gandhi, and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Shri. L.K. Advani. There were also meetings between : a) Hon’ble Minister for Home Affairs Shri Shivraj Patil and UAE Minister of Interior; b) Minister of Overseas Affairs Shri Vayalar Ravi and UAE Labour Minister; c) Hon’ble Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Kamal Nath and UAE Minister of Economy along with MOS for Finance & Industry. During the visit, following five Agreements and MoUs were signed between the two sides: Framework Agreement for developing Industrial Relations; Protocol amending the Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect of Taxes on Income; MoU for Technical Cooperation between Bureau of Indian Standards[BIS] and Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology[ESMA]; MoU for Technical Cooperation in Accreditation Activities between National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories and Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology; MoU between Securities and Exchange Board of India and Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority for Assistance and Mutual Cooperation on the Exchange of Information.
Visits from India to UAE:
Hon’ble Minister for Commerce & Industry, Shri Kamal Nath, visited UAE twice. He paid an official visit to UAE on March 26-28, 2006 and held discussions in Abu Dhabi with Crown Prince, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, and Minister of Economy, Sheikha Lubna on bilateral relations and cooperation, particularly in economic and commercial fields and the status of Free Trade Agreement between the GCC and India. In Dubai, he called on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President & PM of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and handed over letter from our PM to him, inviting the latter to visit India. Shri Kamal Nath visited UAE again on December 6-7, 2006 and addressed the inaugural plenary session of the First Indo-Arab World Business Summit in Dubai along with Sheikha Lubna al Qasimi, the UAE Minister of Economy.
Shri Sharad Pawar, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture visited UAE on April 18-19, 2006 and received a cheque for Dhs 2.5 million towards earthquake victims from UAE Minister for Higher Education, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan in his capacity as Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Board. The money was raised by two one-day cricket matches in Abu Dhabi between India and Pakistan.
Hon’ble Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India, Mr. Vayalar Ravi, visited UAE on May 4-6, 2006 and again on May 10-13, 2007 and met with UAE Minister of Labour Dr. Ali bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi and discussed measures for welfare of Indian labour that included proposals like payment of salary through banks, a compulsory health insurance scheme for workers, better housing facilities and issue of smart cards.
Shri T.K.A. Nair, Principal Secretary to PM visited UAE on May 5-6, 2006 and reviewed the ongoing investment initiatives from UAE to India. He had meeting with Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed, Chairman of Department of Economy of Abu Dhabi.
Union Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Arjun Singh visited U.A.E. on June 3-6 and had detailed discussions with H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research, and Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali, Minister of Education on the bilateral cooperation in the field of education over a dinner hosted by Sheikh Nahyan.
Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri H.D. Kumaraswamy visited UAE on June 7-10 and had a meeting UAE Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak and Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Department of Economy of Abu Dhabi.
FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum 2006 was held in Dubai on June 15- 16, 2006, Hon’ble Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachouri who happened to be in transit in Dubai that day, was the guest of honour. IIFA Awards were given away in Dubai on June 16.
Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Shri K. Rehman Khan visited the UAE and witnessed along with Sheikh Nahyan, UAE Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, the signing of the MoU between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Centre for Excellence in Research & Technology (CERT) on August 24. Shri Khan also was the Chief Guest for Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Dubai Chapter of ICAI.
A delegation of National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC) led by Ms. K. Rani, Hon’ble Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha visited UAE on December 24-28, 2006 and held meetings with UAE authorities to press upon them to lift the ban on import of poultry products from India imposed by the Government of UAE.
Hon’ble MOIA Shri Vayalar Ravi came on an official visit to UAE from May 9-12, 2007 at the invitation of UAE Minister of Labour Dr. Ali bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi. MOIA met Dr. Kaabi in Dubai and discussed measures for welfare of Indian labour that included proposals like payment of salary through banks, a compulsory health insurance scheme for workers, better housing facilities and issue of smart cards. First Joint Committee Meeting between the two sides was held on May 10 to discuss steps to enhance cooperation in employment of Indian workers and their training needs in three major sectors - construction, hospitality and tourism, and health care. It was also decided to set up a grievance redressal mechanism for Indian workers, under which a monthly meeting would be held between Labour Attaches of the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate in Dubai with officials of the UAE Ministry of Labour. They also agreed to set up a task force to operationalise understandings reached between them. The next Joint Committee Meeting is likely to be held in New Delhi in October 2007.
Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri E. Ahmed transited in Dubai on February 05, 2007 enroute Tunis. He called on H.H. Sheikh Mohammed, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and discussed the bilateral relations between India and UAE. MOS (EA) reiterated the invitation from PM Shri Manmohan Singh to H.H. Sheikh Mohammed to visit India. MOS(EA) had earlier visited UAE on October 18, 2006 and had met Mr. Mohammed Hussein Al Shaali, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and discussed bilateral and regional matters.
Visits from UAE to India:
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, UAE Chief of Armed Force UAE Minister for Justice and Islamic Affairs & Awqaf H.E. Mr. Mohammed Nakhira Al Dhaheri, visited India in October 1999. During the visit three landmark Treaties providing for cooperation in Extradition, Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and Juridical and Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial Matters were signed between the two countries. The Instruments of Ratification of these three Treaties were exchanged at Abu Dhabi on 29.5.2000 and thus entered into force as on 29.5.2000. The three Treaties constitute the first set of agreements entered into by India on these matters with any country in the Gulf.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Information and Culture paid a return visit to India in April, 2000 (3.4.2000 to 7.4.2000). Two agreements were signed during the visit - one on cooperation in the field of information and the other between the Emirates News Agency (WAM) and the Press Trust of India (PTI), providing for cooperation and exchange of news and other facilities.
Visit of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the then Deputy Crown Prince, June 2003. An Agreement on Defence Cooperation was signed by the two sides during the visit.
Mr. Mohammed Hussein Al Shaali, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Leaders led the 3-member UAE delegation to the Second Regional Economic Cooperation Conference (RECC) on Afghanistan, in New Delhi in November 2006 where top officials from 18 countries took part to discuss the reconstruction and developmental needs of Afghanistan. Later, he also called on MOS(EA).
Maj Gen Ali M Subaih Al-Ka'abi Chief of Staff of the UAE Land Forces visited India from November 19-24, 2006.
Labour Minister H.E Dr. Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi visited India on December 11-14, 2006 and signed the MoU on Manpower Sourcing.
Under Secretary, Ministry of Interior H.E. Maj. Gen. Saif Abdullah Al Shafar, Under Secretary, Ministry of Interior led a 6-member delegation to India from May 27-30, 2007 and met their counterparts from Ministry of Home.
Minister of Economy, H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi led a 8-member UAE delegation for the for the First India-UAE Trade Policy Forum on May 28, 2007.
A seven-member delegation led by Abdulla Bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Under Secretary from Ministry of Economy represented UAE at the Third India-Gulf Industrial Conference in Mumbai from May 28-29, 2007.
Foreign Minister H. H. Sheikh Abdullah led the UAE delegation for the Ninth Session of the India-UAE JCM in New Delhi on June 5-6, 2007.
Important Bilateral Treaties:
India has signed the following treaties with the UAE:
- Extradition Treaty, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Criminal Matters & Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Civil Matters: Signed in New Delhi in October, 1999 provide for Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Criminal Matters and came into force in May 2000.
- Agreement on Juridical and Judicial Cooperation in civil and commercial matters: Signed in New Delhi in October, 1999 and provides for Juridical and Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial Matters, came into force on 29.5.2000.
- Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances: Signed in New Delhi on January 6, 1994, provide for exchange of information through nodal agencies on smugglers, suspects, financiers, organizers and those involved in trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
- Civil Aviation Agreement: Signed in March 1989, provides for establishing air services between and beyond India and the UAE
- Cultural Agreement: Signed on January 3, 1975 provides for Cultural Exchange Programmes. The last Cultural Exchange Programme under this agreement covered the years 1994 to 1996.
- Defence Cooperation Agreement: Signed in June 2003 in New Delhi, provides for cooperation between the two countries in matters related to security and defence and for annual meetings of 'Strategic Dialogue'.
- Information Cooperation Agreement: Signed in New Delhi in April 2000 between the Emirates News Agency (WAM) and the Press Trust of India (PTI), provides for cooperation and exchange of news.
- Channel Carriage Agreement: Signed on 24.09.2000 at Abu Dhabi between the Directorate General of Doordarshan Broadcasting Corporation of India [Prasar Bharati] and the Emirates Cable TV and Multimedia LLC [E-Vision] provides for the down-linking and distribution of DD World signals in the UAE through E-Vision's cable network.
- MoU on Manpower Sourcing signed in December 2006
Five Agreements and MoUs were signed in March 2006
- Framework Agreement for developing Industrial Relations
- Protocol amending the Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect of Taxes on Income
- MoU for Technical Cooperation between Bureau of Indian Standards[BIS] and Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology[ESMA]
- MoU for Technical Cooperation in Accreditation Activities between National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories and Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology
- MoU between Securities and Exchange Board of India and Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority for Assistance and Mutual Cooperation on the Exchange of Information
India has been training UAE defence personnel in various disciplines at its specialised institutions. Since 1990, the UAE Armed Forces have evinced interest in closer defence cooperation. H.H. Lt. Gen. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, visited India in 1991,1996 and again in 2003. India has been participating regularly in all international defence exhibitions (IDEX) organised by the General Exhibitions Corporation of the UAE. The Indian delegation to the first IDEX in March 1995 was led by the Minister of State for Defence, H.E. Mr. N.V.M. Somu. Air Chief Marshal S.K. Kaul visited UAE in October 1995.
A high level delegation led by the-then Deputy Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chief of Staff of UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited India from June 29 - July 1, 2003. An Agreement on Defence Cooperation was signed by the two sides during the visit. There was agreement that the 'Strategic Dialogue' would be held annually.
Ever since the signing of the Joint Defence Cooperation Committee in June 2003 and subsequent meeting of Joint Defence Cooperation Committee in April 2006 in New Delhi both countries have had good bilateral exchanges in the field of defence. At the first JDCC Meeting, both sides agreed to support defence exhibitions in each country by deputing its platforms and personnel.
Turnaround and Goodwill visits by Indian naval ships has been taking place from time to time. Interaction between the Coast Guards of both the countries has enabled identifying possibilities of cooperation in this area as well. As a follow up of the meeting of the Joint Defence Cooperation Committee in April 2006 several steps were taken to enhance participation in training programmes, exchange of visits by service Chiefs, visits of Naval Ships and Coast Guard and cooperation in Defence Production industries.
In 2006 beginning, we had two Indian naval ships and two Indian Coast Guard vessels visiting UAE. Rear Admiral Suhail Mohammad Khalifa Al-Marar of UAE Navy leading a defence delegation visited India in January 2006 in response to the invitation extended by our Chief of Naval Staff during his visit to UAE in October 2004.
UAE defence personnel have been undergoing defence training in India under Self Financing Schemes. In 2006, two UAE candidates attended the courses under Senior and Junior Command Course at Army College at Mhow from 27th March-24th June, 2006. One UAE candidate attended the NDC Course in 2006.
Maj. Gen. Ali M Subaih Al-Ka'abi, Chief of Staff of the UAE Land Forces visited India from November 19-24, 2006 and had fruitful discussions with the Indian side.
A naval team from India comprising 5 officers visited UAE on January 8-11, 2007 for the inaugural Navy Staff talks. Our Navy Chief had a successful visit to the UAE on Feb 4-9, 2007 during which he had meetings with his counterpart and the Air Force Chief. He visited many locations of interest and gave public addresses at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) in Dubai.
A 2-member team led by Lt. Gen. S.S. Dhillon(Quarter Master General Ordinance) took part in the IDEX on February 19-20 in Abu Dhabi. The UAE side also sent its defence officials to the Aero Show in Bangalore from 7-11 February 2007.
Under the provisions of the First meeting of Joint Defence Cooperation Committee(JDCC) held in New Delhi on April 19-20, 2006 a 5-member UAE Defence Team visited India to examine Anti Aircraft Gun L-70-40 mm in March 2007.
Bilateral Economic and Commercial relations:
India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) enjoy a strong and friendly relationship based on historical contacts, shared traditions and values. This relationship has been buttressed by long standing people to people and commercial contacts.
This relationship has evolved into a significant partnership in the economic and commercial sphere with UAE emerging as the second largest market globally for Indian products. At the same time Indians have emerged as important investors within the UAE and India as an important export destination for the UAE manufactured goods. Indo-UAE trade, valued at US$ 180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today valued over US$ 18 billion.
UAE, a long standing commercial and business hub of the Arabian world, has also emerged as the third major re-export centre in the world after Singapore and Hong Kong. Thus the UAE market is important for the opportunities it provides as a major sourcing centre for important markets such as Iran, Iraq, Africa, CIS countries etc.
This emergence of UAE as a re-export centre is reflected in our growing trade. The bilateral trade has shown significant growth over the past few years with our exports to UAE for the period April 2006-February 2007 being US$ 10,671.88 million as compared to US$ 7,331.38 million in the same period in 2005-6. India’s imports from UAE for the same period was US$ 7,500.61 million while it was US$ 3,787.91 million in the same period in 2005-6. Total trade for the period April 2006-February 2007 was US$ 18,172.49 billion and the total trade for the period April 2005 February 2006 was US$ 11,119.29 billion. Trade balance for the period of April 2006-Febraury 2007 which is favouring India was US $ 3,171.27 million and for the same period in 2005-6 was US$ 3,543.46 million. UAE is the second largest destination for India's exports after USA. Many Indian companies have contributed to the growth of a number of sectors in the region, like power generation and transmission, highways, telecommunication, water and other infrastructure development. The presence of warehouses of the different Indian companies in UAE has also resulted in an increase in the trade not only with UAE but also with India’s trade with other Gulf countries.
India's exports to the UAE are well diversified with a large basket. Major items of India's exports to UAE have been RMG cotton including accessories, gems & jewellery, manmade yarn, fabrics, manufacturers of metals, cotton yarn, marine products, machinery & instruments, plastic & linoleum products, tea and meat & preparations. Similarly, major items of imports from UAE include petroleum and petroleum products, gold & silver, metal ores & metal scrap, sulphur and unroasted iron pyrites and pearls, precious and semiprecious stones. The detailed trade statistics on our trade with UAE (given below) provide an idea of the scope that exists in this market.
|Values in US$ Million|
|Country: United Arab Emirates|
(1US$ = Rs.)
|Note: The country's total imports since 2000-2001 does not include import of Petroleum Products (27100093) and Crude Oil (27090000)
|(Source: Foreign Trade Statistics issued by DGCIS, Calcutta)|
An Indo-UAE Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation was setup in January 1975 at EAM level. The 8th JCM was held in Abu Dhabi in September 1994. Ninth Session of the India-UAE JCM took place in New Delhi on June 5-6, 2007. The Indian delegation was led by Hon’ble External Affairs Minister (EAM) Shri Pranab Mukherjee and the UAE delegation was led by Foreign Minister H. H. Sheikh Abdullah. Both sides discussed issues towards promoting bilateral cooperation in the following fields: Trade & Investment; Combating Crime, Terrorism and Illicit Activities; Education, Culture, Youth & Sports; Health, Science and Technology, Agriculture & Environment; Manpower; Energy, Hydro-carbons, Petrochemicals and Fertilizers; Customs Cooperation; Civil Aviation & Telecommunications and other issues. The tenth session of JCM is scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi. During the official visit, H. H. Sheikh Abdulla met the Hon’ble EAM Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram and Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Kamal Nath. EAM and Sheikh Abdullah reviewed the bilateral relations and assessed the regional situation. Among other issues, EAM conveyed appreciation for UAE Government’s step in declaring amnesty for three months to all workers in the UAE who needed to regularize their stay or who wished to return to their country of origin. They also discussed issues relating to the welfare of Indian workers in the UAE and reviewed steps to operationalise the joint committee, as envisaged in the MoU on Manpower Sourcing. EAM hosted a luncheon in honour of Sheikh Abdullah. Tenth session of JCM will take place in Abu Dhabi.
Joint Business Councils:
A Joint Business Council agreement was signed on 19th Feb. 2004 at Mumbai between Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry. Pursuant to the signing of the agreement, the first meeting of the JBC was held at Abu Dhabi on March 8th 2004. The two delegations were led by Dr. A.C. Muthiah, former President of FICCI and HE Mr. Saeed Saif bin Jabr Al Suwaidi, Chairman of FICCI and Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In the meeting, a decision was taken to form a sub committee to pursue the issues discussed to identify and bring into focus areas of interest between the two countries and carry out sector specific studies. The areas of IT, Oil & Gas, Healthcare, Infrastructure developments, and tourism were identified as focus areas to intensify our bilateral interaction and cooperation. As per the agreed minutes of the official level meeting in March, 2007 it was decided that Chambers of Commerce in both countries should enhance contact by meeting more regularly and exchanging business delegation. Embassy is pursuing with FICCI to activate preparations for the next Joint Business Council’s meeting which will take place in October/November 2007 in New Delhi.