In a boost to bilateral trade and investments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Abu Dhabi today holding talks with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, announced that India and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to start trade settlement in local currencies. PM Modi said that he hopes that bilateral trade between the two countries goes past the $100 billion mark soon, as it currently stands at $85 billion.

“The India-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership has been steadily strengthening and the Prime Minister’s visit will be an opportunity to identify ways to take this forward in various domains such as energy, education, healthcare, food security, fintech, defence and culture,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. It will also be an opportunity to discuss cooperation on global issues, particularly in the context of the UAE’s Presidency of COP-28 and India’s G-20 Presidency in which the UAE is a “special invitee”, it added.

PM Modi is visiting UAE as he returns from France, where he held bilateral discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron. The two countries agreed on a slew of new initiatives and agreements and drew a roadmap for ties which has three pillars: partnership for security and sovereignty; partnership for the planet; partnership for the people.