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Foreign Office Consultations between India and Iran, Tehran, 16 September 2019.

The sixteenth round of Foreign Office Consultations between India and Iran were held in Tehran today. Foreign Secretary Shri Vijay Gokhale led the Indian delegation and Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Seyyed Abbas Araghchi led the Iranian side. Foreign Secretary Shri Vijay Gokhale also called on H.E. Dr. Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran and H.E. Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati, Senior Advisor to Supreme Leader.

During the Consultations, the two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation, ongoing connectivity and infrastructure development projects including development of Shahid Behesthi Port, Chabahar and full operationalization of the Trilateral Transit Agreement (Chabahar Agreement) between India, Iran and Afghanistan. Both sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

It was agreed to maintain the momentum of mutually beneficial multifaceted bilateral cooperation and exchanges between the two sides and to hold the next round of Joint Commission Meeting at the level of External Affairs Minister at an early date in Iran.

The next round of Foreign Office Consultations will be held in New Delhi on mutually convenient dates. Source: Embassy of India, Tehran

Indian Companies Participate in 'IRANPHARMA EXPO 2019' in Tehran, Tehran, 26 September 2019.

Thirty two Indian pharmaceutical companies, with the collaboration of Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (PHARMEXCIL), participated in the 5th International Exhibition on Pharmaceuticals and Related Industries, held in Tehran, Iran, from September 24-26, 2019. The IRANPHARMA EXPO 2019 is an international trade fair for pharmaceutical products, machinery and services.

IRANPHARMA EXPO 2019, was organised by the Iranian Pharmaceutical Industries Syndicate, with the collaboration of Ministry of Health and Medical Education, the Iranian Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and with the contribution of scientific and academic associations and more than 500 pharmaceutical companies.

Ambassador of India to Iran Shri Gaddam Dharmendra inaugurated the “India Pavilion” on September 24th. Source: Embassy of India, Tehran

Prime Minister meets President of Iran, New York, 26 September 2019.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met the President of Islamic Republic of Iran H.E. Dr. Hassan Rouhani in New York on the side-lines of the High-Level Segment of the 74th Session of UNGA today. They discussed bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and global developments of mutual interest.

Noting that India and Iran shared old and civilisational ties, the two leaders positively assessed the progress in bilateral relations since their first meeting at Ufa in 2015. They especially mentioned operationalisation of Chabahar Port and noted its importance as gateway to and for the landlocked Afghanistan and the Central Asian region.

Prime Minister reiterated India's support for giving priority to diplomacy, dialogue and confidence building in the interest of maintaining peace, security and stability in the Gulf region, which is of vital importance for India.

It was agreed to mark the 70th Anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations in 2020. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).


India-Oman Business-to-Business (B2B) Meeting on Healthcare & Medical Tourism Sector, Muscat, 23 September

Embassy of India, Muscat, organized an India-Oman Business-to-Business (B2B) Meeting on Healthcare & Medical Tourism Sector on Monday, 23 September 2019. The B2B session helped in facilitating interaction and tie-ups between representatives of 48 Indian health care organizations visiting Oman to participate in ‘Oman Health Exhibition & Conference 2019’ being held from 23-25 September 2019, and representatives of hospitals and other medical institutions in Oman. India is the partner country for the Oman Health Expo and ‘India Pavilion’ is the largest participation of any country at this prestigious Expo. The Indian delegation for the Oman Health Expo is being led by Mr. Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Earlier in the day India Pavilion was inaugurated by HE Dr. Sultan Al Busaidi, Advisor to Minister of Health, Oman in presence of HE Munu Mahawar, Ambassador of India to the Sultanate of Oman and Mr. Dilip Chenoy. Exhibitors from India in different spheres – telemedicine, pathology and diagnostics care, research, high-end medical tourism, education, e-health, medical & pharmaceutical equipment etc. are showcasing their technical capabilities and relevant technologies in the health care sector and are sharing success stories of their R&D with various stakeholders in the Sultanate of Oman.

The B2B Meeting was a part of Embassy’s endeavours to promote Cooperation in Health Sector between India and Oman as there is huge potential for Indian and Omani companies to explore formation of joint ventures and establishing operations in Oman as well as to facilitate Omani nationals to visit India for holistic health care. Dr. Sultan Al Busaidi, Advisor to Minister of Health of Oman graced the B2B meeting as Chief Guest along with Dr. Mohammed Al Sajwani, Chairman, Treatment Abroad Committee, Ministry of Health as Guest of Honour. Ambassador Munu Mahawar in his welcome address spoke about the India-Oman cooperation in various sectors and encouraged the health care stakeholders present at the event to further explore cooperation and investment opportunities.  Dr. Mohammed Al Sajwani, appreciated the contribution of Indian doctors and nurses in Oman’s helt care sector and praised the World class health care facilities in India.  Dr. Mohammed also encouraged the Indian Health care organizations to set up specialty hospitals in Oman, as there will be an increase in demand of health care services in Oman, due to plans for launch of universal health insurance in Oman.  

A presentation on recent simplification of Medical visa rules was also given by the Embassy, under which an individual can get medical treatment in India on a tourist visa, even for pre-existing medical conditions without a change in visa. However it was emphasized by the Embassy that if the primary purpose of a visit to India is medical treatment, it is better to take a medical visa. Medical Visa for treatment in India has a very simplified process and can be applied with just an appointment letter from any Indian hospital. Indian Embassy has been constantly striving to ensure that Omanis seeking medical visa do not face any difficulty.

India has emerged as the best destination for holistic health care owing to factors like, World class facilities at affordable costs; almost non-existent waiting time for surgeries; world class services and care system; availability of health care therapies like Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Yoga. Source: Embassy of India, Muscat

Oman-India Art Exhibition, Muscat, 25 September 2019

Embassy of India in partnership with Omani Society for Fine Arts (OSFA) is organizing the Oman-India Art Exhibition at the premises of OSFA from 25-28 September 2019. The Art Exhibition is being organized with support from Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Indian Social Club (ISC), through its newly formed Rangrez Artists Group. The Art Exhibition was inaugurated on 25 September 2019 in gracious presence of H.E. Mr. Mohamed bin Al Zubair, Advisor to His Majesty for Economic Planning Affairs; H.E. Mr. Khalifa Al Harthy, Under Secretary for Diplomatic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA); H.E. Khalid Hamed Saif Al-Busaidy, Hon. Member of Majlis Al Shura; H.E. Amb. Sheikh Humaid Al Maie’ni, Chief of Global Affairs, MFA; H.E. Amb. Sheikh Hilal Marhoon Salem Al Ma’amari, Chief of West Asia Department, MFA; and other dignitaries. The inauguration event was also attended by Ambassadors and representatives of Diplomatic Missions, and senior representatives from the fields of art, culture, business and media.

Ambassador of India to the Sultanate of Oman H.E. Munu Mahawar, in his welcome address stated that “the vision behind this art exhibition is to showcase the shared cultural wealth of India and Oman, that spans over 5000 years”. He also spoke about the strong relationship between India and Oman and expressed happiness over the truly Indo-Omani character of the exhibition, as it features paintings by highly acclaimed artists from India and Oman. Ambassador also praised OSFA, especially Ms. Maryam al Zadjali, Director of OFSA for personally selecting the artists participating in the Exhibition and showcasing the best blend of Omani and Indian contemporary art works. Ambassador also thanked Ms. Tarini Agarwal, who curated the amazing exhibition and coordinated the participation of artists from India.

Mr. Talib Ali Almahrooqi, Deputy Director, OSFA also gave a speech and spoke about Art and Culture connecting people and countries. He stated that Oman and India share strong cultural relations and art helps in cultural exchange between people and Art is the language of the World. Ambassador Munu Mahawar and Ms. Maryam al Zadjali joined the esteemed dignitaries to felicitate the 17 artists, who participated in the exhibition. The inaugural ceremony also included scintillating performances of classical Indian fusion dances, adding more colour to the evening.

Hundreds of art lovers in Muscat joined for the inauguration, attesting to the success of the Oman-India Art Exhibition. The Art extravaganza on display at OSFA include, over 75 pieces of art work in contemporary style by Omani and Indian artists in the two halls of OSFA. This wonderful exhibition will remain open for all and can be visited till 28 September 2019 from 10.00 AM to 9.00 PM at the premises of Omani Society for Fine Arts in Al Sarooj, Muscat. Source: Embassy of India, Muscat


India Pavilion” at ‘The Big 5 Qatar 2019’, Doha, 19 September 2019.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), with the support of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, and in collaboration with the Embassy of India, Doha will set up an “India Pavilion” at ‘The Big 5 Qatar 2019’, International Construction Technology & Building Materials Trade Exhibition.

The exhibition is scheduled to be held from September 23 to 25, 2019 at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC).

As many as 50 Indian companies will participate at the ‘Big 5 Qatar 2019’. The Indian participation will be one of the largest country-specific presence at this year’s edition of Big 5 exhibition. The India Pavilion will be inaugurated by H.E. Mr. P. Kumaran, Ambassador of India to Qatar.

The Indian business delegation comprises various segments such as plant machinery and vehicles, concrete, construction tools and building materials, MEP services, building envelope and special construction, construction technologies and innovations and building interiors and finishes.

The construction sector in Qatar represents the fastest growing market in the Gulf region, with an estimated $26bn allocated for major projects and accounting for 47% of Qatar’s total expenditure for 2017. In 2017 alone, 36% of Qatar’s imports were construction-related.

The participation of a large Indian contingent in this year’s edition of Big 5 Qatar demonstrates the concerted effort of the Indian private sector to increase their partnership with the Qatari side. It also reflects the resolve of Indian companies to work together with Qatar to prepare for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and to help realise the objectives envisioned by the Qatar National Vision 2030. Source: Embassy of India, Doha

d. UAE

Joint Statement of 7th HLTFI meeting held in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, 23 September 2019.

The seventh meeting of the UAE-India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments (the Task Force) was held on 22nd September 2019 in Abu Dhabi to review and maintain the significant progress made in enhancing bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.

The meeting was co-chaired by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Managing Director   of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry. Senior officials from both countries participated in the meeting.

The Task Force was established as a key forum to promote economic ties between the UAE and India. As the two countries implement the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement signed in  January 2017 by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Task Force has acquired new significance in promoting and facilitating investments between the two countries and in addressing mutual concerns.

At the 7th meeting of the Task Force, the two sides expressed satisfaction at the progress made in mutually identified areas aimed at promoting bilateral trade and investments and took note of the successful outcomes of the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to UAE.

Both sides also discussed issues relating to the tax treatment of the ADIA wholly owned subsidiaries at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). The Indian side has agreed to give an early consideration and mutually beneficial solution to the issue in a way that could facilitate ADIA’s investments in India.

In the context of the Air Services Agreement between India and UAE and the memorandum of understanding, with the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras-Al-Khaimah and Sharjah, both sides discussed the implementation of these bilateral agreements. They further agreed that pending issues, interests and concerns expressed by both sides be taken up for mutual benefit of the carriers and civil aviation sectors of the two countries. Both sides expressed their confidence in reaching mutually beneficial outcomes in the consultations that are planned to be held during the second half of October 2019.

The co-chairs noted the efforts to expedite the resolution of outstanding issues experienced by DP World in relating to expansion of its investment portfolio in India and agreed to resolve these issues to mutual satisfaction.

To increase the confidence of the business communities of the two countries, both sides stressed the importance of the bilateral judicial cooperation   through the recognition and enforceability of court judgement in civil and commercial cases and arbitration awards in each other’s country.

Areas for future cooperation were also discussed at the meeting, including growth opportunities for Indian banks, asset managers and technology companies at ADGM, and the potential for private banks operating at ADGM to offer high quality private wealth services in India. In this regard, the UAE side further emphasized the strategic role that ADGM has played in fostering collaborations to enable sustainable trade flows and investments between the two economies.

The co-chairs appreciated the functioning of ‘UAE PLUS’ special desk and the ‘Fast Track Mechanism’ established at the 6th HLTFI to facilitate investments and resolve issues relating to UAE Investments into India.

The two sides reviewed and expressed satisfaction on a number of significant achievements and areas of progress made by the Task Force since its creation in 2012, including (i) the signing of a bilateral agreement for the promotion and protection of investments, which is now being renegotiated as a

Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) (ii) the UAE’s contribution to India’s strategic petroleum reserve, (iii) ADIA’s participation in India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund as the first foreign

institutional investor and (iv) the positive progress being made in addressing the clubbing issue of UAE investment entities for the purpose of the foreign investment limit in Indian listed companies.

Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Co-chair of the Task Force, expressed his appreciation for the positive role the Indian community has played in the UAE across various areas, which demonstrates the depth of friendship, trust and cooperation that has developed between both countries.

Commenting on the seventh meeting of the Task Force, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said that the activities of the UAE-India Joint Task Force have and will continue to play an important role in promoting bilateral investment and supporting our countries’ growth ambitions. By providing a platform to strengthen the dialogue between our countries, we have emerged with a deeper understanding of each other’s key goals and objectives, which has led to progress in a number of key areas. Bilateral trade and investment between the UAE and India is growing at an encouraging rate. Through the initiatives we discussed today, and others, we are confident this growth will continue.

Piyush Goyal added that UAE-India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments is an important pillar of our deep economic relations. It is a platform to communicate our mutual requirements and vision for the future, and has helped boost bilateral investments and cooperation. UAE is one of the largest investors in India and one of our most important trading partners, and will also help India in our goal of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy. In this context, he further added that the discussions will go a long way in promoting ease of doing business and investments in both our countries, which will help in economic growth and development of our people.  Source: Press Information Bureau (PIB)


e. GCC

Holding a Session of Talks between the GCC and the Republic of India, New York, 25 September 2019

The GCC led by Mr. Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman, Chairman of the current session of the GCC Ministerial Council and the Republic of India led by Mr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India, held a Session of Talks on Wednesday, 25 September 2019, at the Sultanate of Oman mission to the United Nations headquarters in New York, on the margins of the meetings of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The meeting was attended by, HE Sheikh Sabah Khaled AlHamad AlSabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, HE Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, the United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, The Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council and delegations from the GCC Member States.

During the meeting, they discussed means to enhance relations of cooperation and friendship between the GCC and the Republic of India within the framework of the strategic dialogue between both sides, in various fields, to serve their common interests. The two sides also reviewed the latest political and security developments in the region, as well as issues of common interest. Source: Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

As part of the policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spellings and date format to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND P R Kumaraswamy