India and the UAE have agreed to further strengthen their economic and commercial ties especially in the sectors of civil aviation, climate and energy as Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the Gulf nation's interest in investing in infrastructure development in India. Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan held wide ranging bilateral talks yesterday. The two leaders noted the excellent trade and economic ties between the two countries, as each other's major trading partners and expressed satisfaction at the current level of bilateral trade, which amounted to about USD 53 billion in 2016-17, according to a joint statement issued at the end of Modi's two-day visit to the UAE. "The two sides agreed to further strengthen these ties, particularly through diversifying non-oil trade," it said. With an aim to devise a long-term strategy on trade enhancement, the two leaders decided to examine various tariff and non-tariff barriers, and agreed to focus on encouraging trade in identified commodities and to expand access of goods and services in both markets. "They acknowledged the positive effect presence of a number of Indian and UAE companies in each other's market has in bilateral trade promotion efforts," the statement said. The two sides viewed the agreement between Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange concluded during this visit, as another "constructive mechanism" for furthering economic and commercial ties. India and the UAE also agreed to further enhance their cooperation in areas of green energy and climate change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. "They took note of the strides made by the two countries in achieving the ambitious renewable energy targets," the statement said. Nahyan valued the continued efforts by India to enhance economic growth, and the recent economic reforms undertaken by the India which would facilitate the ease of doing business and promote market integration. "Both sides noted the improvement in the ease of doing business in India and the UAE as per the World Bank's latest global rankings," it said. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the cooperation in energy sector, noting that the UAE is one of the leading suppliers of crude oil to India. "Prime Minister Modi thanked the UAE for being a reliable partner in India's energy security," according to the statement. Both leaders reiterated their "common desire to transform the buyer-seller relationship in the energy-sector to one of deeper partnership with focus on investment and joint ventures in petrochemical complexes, and cooperation in joint exploration" in India, UAE and in third countries. Modi is visiting the United Arab Emirates for the second time after his 2015 trip to the Gulf country.
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