Etihad officials to discuss investment with Anand Sharma

Agra, Jan 28 (IANS) Senior officials of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways will meet India's Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Thursday to discuss the possibility of buying stakes in Indian carriers.

The United Arab Emirates carrier is in talks to buy 24 percent stake in India's second largest carrier, Jet Airways.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the Partnership Summit here, Sharma said he would discuss the details with officials of the Gulf carrier at the end of this month.

"I can't speak for them, but they are meeting me on Jan 31, then we will talk about it in detail," said Sharma, without elaborating on the issue.

Meanwhile, Sharma held bilateral talks with UAE Foreign Trade Minister Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid al Qasimi to discuss the issues related trade and investments.

"Sharma informed that new opportunities have been created by the recent policy reforms in India and invited UAE to invest in various areas, especially in the infrastructures sector," according to an official statement released after the closed-door meeting here.

UAE is India's largest trading partner. During the last financial year, bilateral trade between the two countries was recorded at $73.81 billion, which is 9.02 percent of India's global trade.

Sharma said India attaches "highest importance" to its business and economic relations with the UAE.

(Gyanendra Kumar Keshri can be contacted at gyanendra.k@ians.in)

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