Indian cabinet approves five agreements with UAE

The agreements cover bilateral cooperation in the areas of road transport, small and medium enterprises, innovation, agriculture and institutional cooperation in maritime transport

The Indian cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for the signing of five Memorandum of Understanding with the UAE, days ahead of the visit of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Shaikh Mohammad will be the Chief Guest at this year’s Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on January 26. The five agreements approved cover bilateral cooperation in the areas of road transport, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), innovation, agriculture and institutional cooperation in maritime transport. Here is a detailed look at the five proposed Memorandums of Understanding (MoU):

1. MoU on road transport: The proposed agreement is scheduled be signed between India’s Road Transport and Highways Ministry and the UAE’s Federal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime. A cabinet communique said that the deal “envisages increased cooperation, exchange and collaboration between India and the UAE, and will contribute to increased investment in infrastructure development and enhance logistics efficiency”. It will help in promoting safe, economical, efficient and environmentally robust road transport across India and will further help both countries in creating an institutional mechanism for cooperation in the field, the statement said. The MoU is also expected to improve cooperation in the area of transportation technologies and transport policies and sharing of knowledge on Electronic Toll Collection System. It will also cover setting up of Logistics Parks, freight logistics and transportation warehousing.

2. MoU on maritime transport: A proposed agreement on Institutional Cooperation in Maritime Transport is intended to “pave way for facilitation and promotion of maritime transport, simplification of customs and other formalities, wherever possible, observed in Ports and facilitation of the use of existing installations for the disposal of waste,” the Indian cabinet note said. The MoU will enable shipping companies in both countries to enter into bilateral and multi-lateral arrangements for sustainable trading activities.

3. MoU on maritime training: The Indian cabinet also decided to go ahead with cooperation on the Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency in the maritime training domain. “The proposed MoU will pave way for recognition of maritime education and training, certificates of competency, endorsements, training documentary evidence and medical fitness certificates for seafarers issued by the Government of the other country,” the cabinet note said.

4. MoU on agriculture: The proposed agreement on the agriculture and allied sectors “will promote understanding of best agricultural practices in the two countries and will help in better productivity at farmer fields as well as improved global market access leading to equity and inclusiveness”. Both governments expect that cooperation in agricultural technology will lead to innovative techniques for increasing production and productivity, thereby strengthening food security, the note said.

5. MoU on SMEs and innovation: On the proposed cooperation in the field of small and medium enterprises and innovation, the statement said: “The MoU would benefit Indian SMEs and lead to equitable and inclusive development,” as well as provide SMEs from both countries an exciting opportunity to build a mutually beneficial relationship and to explore each other’s markets.