UAE, India must build on strategic ties

The UAE-India friendship has not only been accelerated by business ties, but also cultural links, age-old maritime trade and vibrant people-to-people contacts. The two nations have potential and success models to share. Each has what it takes to strengthen cooperation with the other side. In recognition of the economic weight of the UAE, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited the UAE to be a partner in India’s growth story, and to participate in mega industrial manufacturing corridors, including the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, the Digital and Start Up India Programmes.
To harness the potential enjoyed by the two countries, high-ranking officials have been exchanging visits, of which the last was the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India.
While in India, Sheikh Mohamed and Modi announced to revamp the UAE-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement, chalking out a roadmap to further strengthen the cooperation. They agreed to build a partnership of the 21st century anchored in values of respect, mutual understanding, and dynamic cooperation. With figures showing the strength of trade ties, both parties are confident that future is on their side. Bilateral trade stood at around $59 billion in 2014-2015. Indian exports to the UAE were $30.49 billion. India’s UAE imports were $20.31 billion.
With focus on future, the UAE and India have to look forward to reaching ambitious goals set at the first Summit during the visit of Modi to Abu Dhabi, including a 60 percent growth in bilateral trade over the next five years and $75 billion of UAE investments in Indian infrastructure.
During Modi’s visit to the UAE in August 2015, the UAE and India agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in several key areas, including trade and investment, security, counter-terrorism, defence, space cooperation, IT, and electronics.
Led by Modi, India’s government has launched many initiatives to improve the ease of doing business in the country. It seeks to simplify and rationalise existing rules and relax foreign direct investment caps in key areas, including railways, defence and insurance.
India and the UAE eye to take part in the infrastructure development plans of each side, with India dangling the experience and expertise of its companies, especially in the areas of power generation, transmission, civil construction railways and metros, hospitals, airports, housing and roads.
India also looks to take in the infrastructure projects being undertaken by the UAE in preparation for the World Expo, which will be held in Dubai in 2020. The UAE is interested to invest in infrastructure development in India, especially in sectors of railway, roads, ports and shipping.
Sheikh Mohamed’s visit saw the opening of DP World’s new smart port Nhava Sheva in Mumbai. The two sides also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate and expand participation of Emirati investors in infrastructure projects in India.
With the UAE seeking to benefit from India’s space experience, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in space science and space technology. They expressed satisfaction about the level of engagement between the UAE Space Agency and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Both sides plan to cooperate on establishment of Strategic Petroleum Reserve in India.
In recent times, the relation between the UAE and India has taken a giant leap in strategic partnership. It has to be developed further by intensified bilateral contacts.
The UAE has to tap Modi’s ‘Make in India’ plan and explore areas which will ensure sustainable economic diversification. By strengthening the strategic ties with India, the emerging economic giant, the UAE will surely usher in a new era of sustainable development.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend