India, UAE in talks to trade in rupee, partner on defence tech: UAE envoy

NEW Delhi : India and UAE are discussing the use of rupee payment mechanism for trade, said UAE Ambassador to India Abdulnasser Alshaali. The UAE is India’s third largest trading partner after the US and China. In an interview, Alshaali said the GCC-India free trade agreement (FTA), the negotiations are expected to start next year, there may be some aspects of the India FTA- The UAE and both countries are also in talks to become defense partners. Technology. Edited excerpts:

Can you tell us about the situation in the India-UAE relationship?

About seven to eight years ago, things started to take a different turn in the bilateral relationship, marked by more high-level visits between the two countries. The relationship was great, and those kind of visits created their own momentum. The two sides signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and formed platforms such as I2U2 (Israel-India-USA-UAE). The United Arab Emirates was also invited as a guest country of the G20 as an independent guest country in India’s second year.

India has been promoting payments in rupees between New Delhi and Abu Dhabi. Can you tell us something about this?

There is an ongoing discussion so the details have been shared between the two parties and the proposal is with the technical team. What I am talking about is just a typical currency swap arrangement between two countries in their local currencies.

It is suggested that the UAE-CEPA agreement could be extended to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Please comment.

What I do know is that there is a separate roadmap for GCC in the FTA and they are looking at aspects of the UAE-India CEPA that can be included in the UAE-GCC FTA. Because we are heavily integrated with the GCC market, having the GCC-India FTA means it will complement the CEPA we have and will subsequently enable favorable open competition between all industries. between the GCC countries and within the region.

What about defense cooperation?

There are negotiations going on. We had a high-level delegation come in two to three months ago. The market is not yet fully exploited or explored. On our side, representatives from the Department of Defense were here, and also someone from our defense industries watchdog, and they met with their counterparts in India. Discussion of joint production of defense technology is at a very early stage.

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