"Trade and investments will continue to be the engine which will drive the bilateral relations. The trade, which reached the level of USD 75 billion last year, is expected to increase further during the current year," the ambassador said in his statement.

"Since the formation of the UAE, India's interests in the country have multiplied. Currently, the UAE is India's largest trading partner, a major oil supplier and a significant investor," Lokesh said in his Independence Day message.

The bilateral relationship between the two countries will get a boost by the visit of India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later this year, which is in the pipeline, Lokesh said. He, however, added that details of the visit are not available as of now.

As the second fastest growing economy in the world, India is one of the most attractive destinations for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Asia. With a cumulative FDI inflow of USD 2.3 billion to India, UAE ranks 10th among the top investing countries. Indian companies also invest in the UAE.

Major Indian companies have made sizeable investments in some of the principal sectors of UAE economy including construction, power, health and wellness, engineering, consulting and infrastructure.

(Agencies)

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