India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will set up joint working group on petrochemicals, fertilisers and hydrocarbons.
The new development comes after the visit of UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to India on Thursday.
During his visit, Shaikh Abdullah met a number of senior officials and co-chaired the Meeting of the Joint Commission with Sushma Swaraj, India’s External Affairs Minister.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi during a press conference which was streamed live, Anil Wadhwa, secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India said both the countries will look for investment opportunities in the hydrocarbon sector.
“There was discussion on the investment opportunities in the upstream and downstream projects in the UAE by the Indian companies and third countries of mutual interest. The UAE has also expressed interest to participate in India’s strategic petroleum reserves,” Wadhwa said.
India is a major importer of crude oil from the UAE. It imports about 270,000 of crude oil per day from the UAE with the country being the sixth largest supplier of the commodity to India.
Wadhwa said Indian companies are keen to bag contracts and licences for the development of upstream projects in the UAE which have come up for renewal. “The UAE side has expressed its interest in engaging with ONGC Videsh to explore opportunities in upstream projects in the petrochemical sector.”
India also raised the proposal of setting up a urea ammonia plant through joint venture with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), Wadhwa added.
There is not much direct investment from India into the UAE’s energy sector. Indian companies have not been represented in the ADCO concession renewal in Abu Dhabi this year.
Indian ambassador to the UAE T.P. Seetharam termed Shaikh Abdullah’s visit as highly successful with fruitful discussions in various fields. “The visit has taken ties between the two countries to new levels. A number of investment opportunities were presented to the UAE to invest in India,” Seetharam told Gulf News from New Delhi.
“We are creating a roadmap for the enhancement of ties between the two countries and there is going to be huge boost in the coming days.”
Bilateral trade between the two countries stands at US$60 billion for the year 2014-15. India is the UAE’s second-largest trading partner and the UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner after China and the US. Both countries plan to increase trade to 60 % in the next five years.