The ties between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are firmly anchored in their common cultural heritage and marine trade for a long time. These linkages have radically altered the geopolitics of the area and have proven a testament to the resilience of international collaboration and diplomacy.
In the last 50 years, India has also learned that its relationship with the UAE goes beyond just trade and business. There are a number of other factors that naturally bind the two nations together, such as their mutual respect for the principles of national sovereignty, the social security of Indian expatriates in the Arab Gulf region, and their relationship.
As a result of a convergence of interests in regional security, energy cooperation, and the digital economy, which reflects the common objectives and visions of both countries, the alliance has recently shown visions of a strategic pivot, according to Dr Maheep, an Expert of India’s Foreign Affairs with Specialisation in Arab Gulf States and Islam.
India, which is currently in charge of the G20, is formally adhering to tradition by inviting non-member nations and international groups to the G20 Summit. Egypt, Mauritius, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Spain, Singapore, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bangladesh are among the nations that have been invited this year.
UAE is currently India’s second-largest export market and third-largest trading partner. In the upcoming years, it is anticipated that the amount of trade between them will increase from USD60 billion in 2019-2020 to USD100 billion.
In December last year, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that more Indian citizens live in the UAE than in any other country abroad.
In February 2022, India and the UAE previously agreed to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The two nations have long been acquainted and actively involved with one another, but since 2016, there has been a noticeable rise in the quality of their relations, which has reached an unparalleled height with CEPA. In 2015, Narendra Modi made a visit to the United Arab Emirates, the first by the Indian Prime Minister in more than 40 years. Since the visit, the ties between India and the UAE have grown stronger.
Author Maheep, in his article, mentions how in recent times, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have engaged in discussions on a range of themes of both strategic and cultural significance.
This includes an agreement to create a USD 75 billion infrastructure development fund, discussions to fill India’s strategic oil reserves at Mangalore with UAE assistance, the addition of Hindi as the third official language in the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), the building of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, the trend of reverse migration, the flash floods in Kerala, the cooperation following the Pulwama tragedy, and the exodus of Palestinians from Israel.
With the number of preferential certificates of origin issued under the India-UAE CEPA rising from 415 in May 2022 to 8440 in March 2023, usage of the agreement has been continuously growing. While India has achieved quick duty elimination on more than 80 per cent of its tariff lines, which correspond to 90 per cent of India’s exports in value terms, the UAE abolished taxes on 97.4 per cent of its tariff lines, which amount to 99 per cent of imports from India. Both countries have made more significant and deeper commitments in the area of services across all industries and supply channels, author Maheep writes.
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, claims that the CEPA represents a turning point in bilateral relations and is a model of international collaboration in the post-COVID-19 era. The Lulu Group, The Indian People’s Forum (IPF), The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the Annual Investment Meeting, Texmas, and The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) are just a few of the well-known groups supporting the event, the author added.
Along with Israel and the United States, India and the UAE are members of the I2U2 mini-lateral group, which intends to enhance collaborative investments in a variety of fields, including water, food security, transportation, energy, health, and space, in addition to the CEPA.
On February 21-22, 2023, the most recent high-level conference of the India, Israel, US, and UAE grouping (I2U2) was convened in Abu Dhabi to address investment prospects and “pressing issues including food insecurity and the energy crisis.”
The premiers of the four nations noted in a joint statement issued in July 2022 that they intended to enlist the help of the private sector to modernise infrastructure, advance low-carbon development pathways for industries, advance physical connectivity between nations in the Middle East, improve public health and access to vaccines, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies while ensuring near- and long-term financial viability.
Although it is still in the early stages, there are already discussions on potential defence cooperation between the two nations.
Furthermore, UAE has committed to investing USD2 billion to build integrated food parks across India. The UAE is home to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and will host COP28 in 2023. Modern climate-smart technologies will be installed in the latter, allowing it to use renewable energy sources, lessen food waste and spoilage, and conserve fresh water. India is anticipated to make suitable land available for the project and to organise the integration of farmers into the food parks.
Dr Maheep is an Expert in India’s Foreign Affairs with a Specialisation in the Arab Gulf States and Islam. He has a keen interest in the Political Economy of India. (ANI)
Courtesy: The Print (This Article was originally Published in The Print dated 12 May, 2023 04:17 pm IST)