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Abu Dhabi keen on aviation, energy sectors in India

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February 11
2:42 AM 2016

India has sought investments from United Arab Emirates (UAE) in upgrading and enhancing infrastructure segment. Abu Dhabi is also keen on oil, aviation and other infrastructure projects in India. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought additional oil from UAE for 2016-17. India forecast 7.6 percent economy growth for 2015-16 financial year. 

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, arrived in India on Wednesday on his first official visit to the country. Major business and investment deals involving billions of dollars are expected to be signed during his visit in India. 

Zawya reports that the UAE is keen on using half of oil storage facility with 1.5 million ton-capacity located at Mangalore in Karnataka, a southern state in India. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Oil, said Indi offered the UAE one chamber at Mangalore oil storage. The UAE can use this facility upto one-third for exports and remaining can be utilized by India as strategic reserve.

Hareb Al Muhairy, the senior vice president of corporate and international affairs, said: "India is a key market for Etihad Airways and, with our equity partner Jet Airways, we have significantly grown our business. Together, we are the market leader with 21 per cent share of total passenger traffic carried to and from India."

India has been a major destination for Etihad Airlines for increasing air traffic. Etihad invested in infrastructure and air services enhancing the number of passengers from India to Abu Dhabi.  Abu Dhabi International Airport witnessed a record traffic of over 23 million passengers, as reported by The National. Etihad and Jet Airways operate 254 flights a week from Abu Dhabi to 15 cities in India. 

Narendra Modi during his UAE tour in 2015 agreed on a deal for establishing $75 billion fund for investing in India's infrastructure projects and other fields. Pradhan further said that Indian companies are open to take stake in Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO), which is engaged in developing oil fields. 

The business volume between the UAE and India is increasing ever since the establishment of UAE Federation in 1971. The UAE is the third largest trading partner for India after China and the US. The bilateral trade volume was $180 million in 1970s and rose to $59 billion in 2016. UAE investments in India are estimated to be $10 billion including $3.3 billion in form of foreign direct investment (FDI), according to Emirates 24-7.

Pradhan had a meeting with UAE Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui. Pradhan said: "India is looking at UAE as a preferred partner for some of the projects. They have realized the potential of the Indian market." Pradhan briefed visiting team of Abu Dhabi about the investment opportunities in refining, petrochemicals and pipeline segments. The stakes in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC) petrochemical plant in Western India and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) in Southern India are available for an investment at about $530 billion each.

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