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India-UAE Relations: Advancing towards Comprehensive Strategic Partnership- Gitanjali Sinha Roy

On 18 February 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed
Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces virtually met to discuss the 50 years of strong bilateral relations
between the two countries. The leaders spoke about how they wanted to take this relationship to
greater heights of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership along with tackling global challenges,
achieving shared objectives, building a robust and resilient relationship. 1 Further, the leaders aimed
for a roadmap to promote development in the realm of new trade, investments and innovation
which would help diversify this relationship. 2

 

Agreements
The two countries agreed on several partnerships where they jointly worked on several agreements
and Memorandum of Understanding in the different domains of economy, climate change and
houbara conservation, industries and advanced technologies, low carbon hydrogen developments
and investments, food security, financial services and issuance of India-UAE Joint stamps.
With regard to economic partnership, the two countries welcomed the signing of the
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and also welcomed the establishment of the
dedicated India Mart in Jebeli Ali Free Zone and also aimed to further expedite a dedicated
investment zone for UAE companies and joint ventures which would focus on establishing a food
corridor. 3 The leaders aimed at establishing specialised industrial advanced technology zones in UAE
along with integrating local value chains of the already existing and the future specialised economic
zones in the areas of logistics, services, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, agriculture, agri-tech, steel
and aluminium. 4
It has to be understood that in the economic domain is one such domain where both the countries
can extensively approach one another. UAE is home to the world’s best luxurious brands and is open
to a varied market economy and India needs to capture that very economy and work on
strengthening its economic base in the UAE. By working on investment zones, it gives India and UAE
an advantage of creating an interconnected investment linkage which would also help open up other
ventures and especially help the industrial advanced technology zone grow as well. By the
emphasising on the logistics and services, it would help reduce the trade route time and also help in
saving more money which otherwise would be used in transportation costs. UAE is also home to a
huge Indian community especially in the medical field and so, India and UAE must work to develop
and strengthen the domains of pharmaceutical as well as the medical services. Food security is a
major issue for both the countries and by cooperating with one another in the agricultural domain,
both the countries can work more on these lines.
Energy Partnership is yet another domain of collaboration as it is the key pillar to enable mutual
interaction between India and UAE. Also, UAE is India’s key suppliers of energy and with the demand
going up gradually, India needs to make sure that it has robust relations with UAE. Also, Indian
companies have agreed to steadily increase the exploration partnerships. Both the countries can
work on building towards a low-carbon future as well. Both the countries also agreed to work on
COP, the International Renewable Energy Agency and the International Solar Alliance and help built
a joint Hydrogen task force to help scale technologies with regard to the production of Green
Hydrogen. 5 In the domain of defence and security, the two countries aimed to strengthen the
maritime cooperation. They also agreed to fight against terrorism and extremism.

Conclusion
The relations between the two countries matter as not only does it benefit from their economic
interactions but also India is in need of energy resources from UAE and that makes it easier for both
the countries to invest with one another. In the present times of Coronavirus, the two countries can
work more towards health care facilities and equipment and also help further skilling the Indian
medical community in UAE. Also, the two countries can work together in the domain of vaccine
diplomacy and cooperate on humanitarian assistance in the same domain.
1 Ministry of External Affairs. 2022. “Joint India-UAE Vision Statement – Advancing the India-UAE
Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: New Frontiers, New milestones”, February 18, 2022.
https://www.mea.gov.in/bilateraldocuments.htm?dtl/34877/Joint_IndiaUAE_Vision_Statement__Advancing_t
he_IndiaUAE_Comprehensive_Strategic_Partnership_New_Frontiers_New_milestones
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 Ministry of External Affairs. 2022. “Joint India-UAE Vision Statement – Advancing the India-UAE
Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: New Frontiers, New milestones”, February 18, 2022.
https://www.mea.gov.in/bilateraldocuments.htm?dtl/34877/Joint_IndiaUAE_Vision_Statement__Advancing_t
he_IndiaUAE_Comprehensive_Strategic_Partnership_New_Frontiers_New_milestones

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