UAE Economy Minister: UAE Open to Meeting Indian Oil Demand
ABU DHABI, Aug 17 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates is open to meeting any demand for oil from India, the Gulf OPEC member's economy minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri told Reuters on Monday.
Mansouri was speaking after meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in the UAE on a two-day visit.
"India is importing oil now and the UAE is open to meet demand for any oil from India," Mansouri said, adding that the issue would be discussed further by representatives of the two sides. Abu Dhabi currently provides 9 percent of India's energy needs and India is the world's fourth biggest oil consumer.
Mansouri said Modi presented proposals for investments in India worth $1 trillion.
"The UAE can focus on certain areas such as infrastructure, railways, medical, tourism, real estate," Mansouri said, adding that the tourism sector had huge untapped potential but needed rules and regulations to develop it.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, is already an investor in India and further investment will depend on what India provides, Mansouri added.
Modi said he would send India's minister of commerce to the UAE shortly to discuss investment, the UAE minister said.
"There's a new momentum in the relationship between the two countries in different areas, mainly economic and investments," Mansouri said. "We are addressing some challenges of the past and creating a new vision for India-UAE in the future."
India is in talks to lease part of its planned strategic oil storage facilities to Abu Dhabi's state oil company ADNOC, Indian government sources said last year. India imports about 80 percent of its oil needs and is building emergency storage capacity to hedge against energy security risks.
A UAE industry source said this week that negotiations between ADNOC and India were continuing but no final agreement had been reached yet.
(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Writing by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Andrew Torchia)
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