India to approve oil, gas projects 'in 30 days flat': Anand Sharma
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Noting that bilateral trade between India and the GCC region rose to above USD 145 billion in 2011-12 from USD 67 billion five years ago, Sharma said, "I expect that with the kind of dynamism which has been shown in our trade established with UAE, this year we will cross USD 175 billion."
Later Sharma held a bilateral meeting with Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade, UAE, during which the possibility of increasing the bilateral trade between the two nations was discussed.
Noting that UAE was India's top partner amongst the GCC countries and the second largest trading partner for India in the world after China, Sharma said "the bilateral trade does
not reflect the full potential and can be further exploited to mutual advantage of both the countries."
The minister also underlined the need for reenergising the negotiations for concluding the India-GCC FTA talks pointing out that the capital flow between the regions has remained miniscule.
Sharma said that there was immense potential for increasing investments from UAE in India, especially in infrastructure sector such as power and utilities, roads and highways, ports, aviation, telecommunications and urban infrastructure.
He also emphasised that India was "committed to strengthening and expanding cooperation with UAE in other sectors such as construction, downstream products in the petroleum and natural gas sector, agriculture and food processing, science & technology, renewable energy, IT, education, training, health and financial services."
Highlighting the fact that India is a major exporter of textiles, Sharma expressed the hope that the UAE Government would give a special concessional treatment to textile imports from India.
The minister further said that several Indian companies want to invest in UAE in energy intensive manufacturing, infrastructure, services, tourism and hospitality, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, financial services, agro-based value chain and education.
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