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Petroleum Minister Pradhan to visit Iran, UAE

New Delhi: Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan will be visiting Iran and the UAE between April 9 and 12.

During his visit to Iran on April 9 and 10, Pradhan will meet his Iranian counterpart, Senior Adviser to President of Iran on Free Trade Zones and Governor of Central Bank of Iran in Tehran.

He would also be addressing the Tehran Chamber of Commerce. He will be visiting Chabahar FTZ to interact with FTZ authorities.

The last visit by an Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas was in April 2007.

India and Iran share historic bilateral relations with substantial economic engagements covering many sectors. The trade relations have traditionally been buoyed by Indian import of Iranian crude oil.

The bilateral trade during the fiscal year 2014-15 was USD 13.13 billion. India imported USD 8.95 billion worth of goods mainly crude oil and exported commodities worth USD 4.17 billion.

The visit envisages engaging with the Iranian political leadership to work with them, particularly in the hydrocarbon, petrochemicals and fertilisers sector for mutual benefits, including strengthening of India’s energy security.

During visit to UAE from April 11 and 12, Pradhan will meet his UAE counterpart Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei in Abu Dhabi. He will also meet with the CEO of ADNOC and Chairman of AIDA (Abu Dhabi Investment Authority).

During his stay in the Dubai, Pradhan will meet Emirati businessmen, inaugurate the India Pavilion at the Annual Investment Meet-2016 at the World Trade Centre, visit Jabel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) and interact with JAFZA authorities.

He is also scheduled to meet Indian businessmen and professionals.

The visit of Pradhan to the UAE is a follow up of the February 2016 visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Minister of Energy H E Mr Al Mazrouei.

In the recent years, the traditionally close and friendly India – UAE bilateral relationship has evolved into a significant partnership in the economic and commercial sphere.

India-UAE trade, which was valued at USD 180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today around USD 60 billion making UAE, India’s third largest trading partner for the year 2014-15.

For the UAE, India is the largest trading partner for the year 2014 with an amount of over USD 28 billion (non-oil trade). On the energy front, UAE contributes significantly to India’s energy security, being the 6th largest supplier. India is the 2nd largest destination for UAE’s oil exports. India imported 16.11 MMT of crude oil from UAE during 2014-15 and 11.52 MMT during April-December 2015.

Pradhan will be accompanied by senior officials from his Ministry and also from Department of Petrochemicals, Department of Fertilizers, Department of Economic Affairs apart from CMDs/MDs and officials from Central Public Sector Oil and Gas, Fertilizers, Shipping and Metal companies.

Representatives of private Indian companies involved in petroleum, petrochemicals and fertilizers sectors will also be travelling along with Sh Pradhan as part of a FICCI delegation. (ANI)