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PM Modi, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Hold Talks to Improve India-UAE Trade; RuPay Card Launched

With robust flow of bilateral investments and an annual bilateral trade of about USD 60 billion, the UAE is India's third-largest trade partner. It is also the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India.

PTI

Updated:August 24, 2019, 4:28 PM IST
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PM Modi, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Hold Talks to Improve India-UAE Trade; RuPay Card Launched
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan after being conferred ' Order of Zayed'-- UAE's highest civil decoration, in Abu Dhabi, Saturday, Aug 24, 2019. (Twitter/PTI Photo)
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Abu Dhabi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday discussed ways to improve trade and cultural ties between India and the UAE with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Welcoming Modi, the crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, expressed gratitude to his "brother" for visiting "his second home".

"Further cementing a close friendship. Fruitful talks between H.H. Crown Prince @MohamedBinZayed and PM @narendramodi in Abu Dhabi. Both leaders discussed ways to improve trade and cultural relations between India and UAE," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) tweeted after the meeting.

The two leaders also discussed the "full spectrum of the strong India-UAE partnership", which has been "built over generations", External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

There was a "new energy" in the relationship between the two leaders, he tweeted.

Kumar quoted the crown prince as saying, "I am so grateful that my brother is coming to his second home."

With robust flow of bilateral investments and an annual bilateral trade of about USD 60 billion, the UAE is India's third-largest trade partner. It is also the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India.

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday also launched the RuPay card here, making the UAE the first country in the Middle East to initiate the Indian indigenous system of electronic payment.

RuPay card scheme was launched in 2012 to fulfil the Reserve Bank of India's vision to have a domestic, open and multilateral system of payments. RuPay facilitates electronic payment at all Indian banks and financial institutions.

India has already launched the RuPay card in Singapore and Bhutan. Modi will launch the RuPay card by making a special purchase which he will offer as 'prasad' at the Shreenathji Temple in Bahrain tomorrow.

"The RuPay card comes to UAE! PM @narendramodi makes a special purchase, which he would offer as Prasad at the Shreenathji Temple in Bahrain tomorrow," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) tweeted.

Before the launch, an MoU to establish a technology interface between the payment platforms in India and UAE was exchanged between the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and UAE's Mercury Payments Services in the presence of the prime minister.

As many as 21 major business groups — including Lulu, Petrochem Middle East, NMC Healthcare and Landmark — in the UAE have pledged to accept RuPay as a mode of payment.

They stated that the initiative will go a long way in bringing India and the UAE businesses together.

The UAE receives about three million Indian tourists annually. Acceptance of Rupay card in UAE will lower the charges as tourists will save on exchange rate.

The NPCI in association with the Mercury Payments Services, has made RuPay cards acceptable at 1,75,000 merchant locations and 5,000 ATM and cash access locations within the UAE.

RuPay is a highly secure network that protects against cyberhacks and is India's version of Master Card and Visa.

Today, there are close to 500 million RuPay cards in circulation in India. RuPay has also tied-up with international players like Discover, Japan Credit Bureau and China Union Pay to enhance its international acceptance and recently achieved a milestone of issuing 25 million RuPay cards.

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