India - UAE Deepening Relationship (22 August 2020)
India - UAE Deepening Relationship (22 August 2020)
Why in News:
India on Monday sought investments from the United Arab Emirates in key sectors like infrastructure, highways, ports, airports, renewable energy and defence as the two sides discussed a joint strategy to offset the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The matters came up during a virtual meeting of the India-UAE joint commission on trade, economic and technical cooperation, which was co-chaired by external affairs minister S Jaishankar and his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The two sides assessed their cooperation over the past few months in the fight against Covid-19 and discussed a joint strategy to offset the economic and social impact of the pandemic on both countries.
Both countries enjoy strong bonds of friendship based on age-old cultural, religious and economic ties.
UAE is the second largest export destination of Indian Goods and Services.
UAE is one of the important crude oil suppliers to India and important for India’s energy security.
Around 3.4 million Indians are living harmoniously in the UAE.
It is also largest population of Indian expatriates anywhere in the world.
Summary of the Debate
Key Takeaways from the Meeting:
- Both the countries reviewed the continuing growth of their broad-based cooperation
- Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in ongoing areas and to explore cooperation in newer areas reflecting the changing times.
- They also discussed on regional issues related to their neighbourhood and cooperation at the UN and other multilateral forums.
- Both countries agreed to hold the next session of the joint commission in Abu Dhabi in 2021.
- India thanks the UAE for taking care of the Indian nationals during the covid pandemic.
- PM Modi ofter speaks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Dr. Shankar Often speaks with Sheik Abdullah as the foreign minister and there is actually a high degree of cooperation at that level between the leaders .
- UAE went to support India on issues that mattered to India out of their way to extend an invitation to Mrs Sushma Swaraj to be the guest of honor at an OIC (The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) foreign ministers meeting in Abu Dhabi.
- When India abrogated Article 370, UAE became the first Arab country to say, this is India’s internal business.
- At a time when Pakistan was creating a campaign against India, UAE awarded their country’s highest civilian award to Indian PM Modi.
- India-UAE trade, valued at US$ 180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today around?US$ 60 billion making the UAE India’s third largest trading partner for the year 2018-19 after China and the US.?
- India is the second largest trading partner to the UAE, for the year 2018 with an amount of around US$ 36 billion (non-oil trade).
- Out of $ 77 billion- $ 78 billion of remittances that India received last year, $ 19 billion came from UAE.
- One of the most interesting things that is happening is the efforts to create India-UAE Food Corridor. There are major investment proposals that involve procurement, logistics, warehouses and cold storage chains, it potentially involves fisheries and poultry.
- Last year total food export to UAE was about $ 2.5 billion.
- Amongst the top five countries around the world in terms of intelligence sharing, cooperation, pre-emptive actions, sending back the bad guys like Farooq Takla, who was an aid of Dawood Ibrahim, cracking down on Jihadi groups which may have affiliations in India, all of that that does not make it to the media happens quietly behind the scenes and very effectively.
- UAE had promised to buy weapons from India.
- India’ first strategic petroleum reserve in Mangalore was set up with oil from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the second one probably be in the same.
- There is an agreement between the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the Saudi Aramco to set up a $ 50 billion west coast oil refinery with half the investment coming from them and half the oil coming from them.
- The goods trade between India-UAE is very prominent, the $ 60 billion US dollar of bilateral total trade is goods, but there is various area of services where already both countries have linkages but can be augmented more.
- Education is one area which is very critical as far as putting up the system in place and especially now with unfolding of online education, so using the online platform in education and linkages across think tank and not only the scholastic classroom kind of teaching.
- Joint collaboration in research in different fields both scientific and social sciences.
- Health services trade is also contributing to the diversification of bilateral trade.
- One difficulties continues to be the inability to get what is effectively a huge amount of finance from Abu Dhabi into the long term investments of the Indian economy, this means infrastructure, powers, railway, sports, etc. So, these are some areas where India really need to develop.
- There is need to recognise each other’s contributions through awards, media, etc.
Important points made by the Guests
Navdeep Singh Suri, Former Ambassador
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Foreign Editor, Hindustan Times
Ram Upendra Das, Head, Centre for Regional Trade, Commerce Ministry