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Sunday, June 16, 2024, 10:22 am

Sunday, June 16, 2024, 10:22 am

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India shares values with the UAE in terms of tolerance and pluralism.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE last week may have initially appeared to be just another bilateral trip he has made. The government’s intention to convey the importance and prominence of the Emirates more than it has with any other Gulf nation is evident from Mr. Modi’s sixth visit to the country since 2014. The timing could have been connected to an invitation to speak at the “World Governments Summit” in Dubai and to open the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, but a deeper examination of the ten bilateral agreements inked is necessary. The speed at which the UAE and India finalised the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2022 was equaled by the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) signed this week. India now has trade and investment agreements with just one nation, the United Arab Emirates, which is also the first nation with which the Modi administration has inked these deals. Currently, India’s second-largest export destination, third-largest commercial partner, and fourth-largest source of foreign direct investment is the United Arab Emirates. Trade relations are anticipated to improve with the opening of the Bharat Mart for Indian MSMEs.
Digital infrastructure development, energy security and trade research and development centred on green hydrogen and energy storage, and digital cross-payments were among the technological ties covered in a second round of agreements. Third, the Agreement for an Intergovernmental Framework on the India-Middle East Economic Corridor sets the stage for multilateral cooperation between the two nations. They will also collaborate on the I2U2 initiative with the United States and Israel, and starting in 2024, they will do so within the BRICS framework, of which the United Arab Emirates is now a member. Ultimately, the talks on the Red Sea assaults and the Israel-Gaza operations show that, in a conflict-ridden region, India views the UAE as a reliable partner. In addition, the foundation of India-UAE relations is a rich historical and cultural exchange that includes a diaspora that provides over 18% of India’s remittances abroad and centuries-old marine trade.
The United Arab Emirates’ and India’s technical superiority complement each other, but there may also be sources of contention due to the countries’ shifting political and social landscapes.
Concerns about the emergence of majoritarian and sectarian forces in India have been voiced by the UAE, a theocratic monarchy that aims to establish a more pluralistic style of administration, including the decision of the Abu Dhabi temple.

 

Abhishek Verma


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