The UAE and India… a strategic partnership and historical relations

In recent years, Emirati-Indian relations have witnessed rapid development based on deep-rooted historical relations that have been nurtured for centuries through close cultural and civilizational communication, trade, and high-level political interaction.

The bilateral relations between the two countries today take multiple and comprehensive aspects, while the rapidly growing economic and trade relations between the two countries contribute to further deepening these ties, as the UAE and India offer a unique model of partnership thanks to the vision of the leaderships of the two countries and their continuous support to enhance the prospects of joint cooperation.

The rapid growth of relations between the two countries reflects the UAE’s forward-looking and ambitious vision to enhance economic openness to the world and build international trade partnerships with strategic markets. In September 2021, it launched a program of comprehensive economic partnership agreements, including the strategic partnership agreement with India.

The years 2022 and 2023 witnessed important milestones that strengthened this partnership, the most prominent of which are:

– May 2022 .. Comprehensive Partnership Agreement.

The signing of the Comprehensive Partnership Agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of India constituted a turning point in the relations of the two countries. The agreement entered into force as of May 1, 2022, and enabled Emirati companies to take advantage of the new advantages it provides, which include providing greater access for Emirati exports to the Indian market by canceling or reducing customs duties on more than 80% of goods, and creating an open environment. and non-discriminatory trade across borders with India, and to enhance market access for service providers in the UAE across 11 major sectors and more than 100 sub-sectors.

The agreement includes removing unnecessary technical obstacles to trade for exporters from the UAE and India, using international standards as a basis for technical regulations, enhancing Emirati companies’ access to opportunities to participate in Indian government procurement, and supporting Emirati companies by granting a price preference of 10% in tenders. UAE government procurement, and the establishment of a joint committee to evaluate, review and propose any amendments to the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two sides, including improving market access.

– September 2022… The 14th Joint Committee meeting.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, chaired the work of the 14th session of the joint committee between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of India, while the Indian side was chaired by His Excellency Dr. Subramaniam Jai Shankar, Minister of External Affairs.

On the sidelines of the meeting, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Wildlife Institute in India and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation in the UAE. His Highness and His Excellency the Indian Minister of External Affairs also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on the establishment of the Council Forum. Emirati Indian culture.

– February 2023 .. a tripartite alliance.

The United Arab Emirates, the French Republic and the Republic of India announced the establishment of a tripartite cooperation initiative between them and set a road map to start its implementation. The three countries confirmed in a joint statement after a tripartite phone call that the initiative will serve as a forum to promote, draw and implement cooperation projects in several areas, including energy and climate change.

The partnership constitutes a platform for expanding cooperation between development agencies in the three countries in the field of sustainable projects, in addition to organizing a group of joint tripartite events within the framework of the Republic of India’s presidency of the Group of Twenty “G20”, and the UAE’s hosting of the Conference of the Parties “COP28” at the end of this year.

The UAE, France and India will ensure that this tripartite initiative is used as a platform to enhance cultural cooperation, through a range of joint projects, including the promotion and protection of heritage.

– May 2022 .. Partnership in renewable energy.

In May 2022, the UAE and India signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at discussing how to combat climate change, by strengthening cooperation between the two countries and exchanging support to fulfill the commitments of countries contained in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Among the tracks agreed upon between the two sides within the framework of cooperation to confront climate change is a partnership between the public and private sectors with the aim of developing the deployment of renewable electricity, green hydrogen, the carbon market, raising the level of efficiency of the agricultural sector, and sustainable financing.

– May 2023.. New opportunities and joint promotion.

His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, met with a number of ministers, senior government officials and representatives of the private sector in the friendly Republic of India, led by His Excellency Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce, Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food, Public Distribution and Textiles, and His Excellency Shri Ji Kishan Reddy, Minister of Tourism and Culture To discuss frameworks for enhancing joint economic and trade cooperation.

The two sides discussed increasing the volume of mutual investments and diversifying their umbrella to include new sectors to be added to the existing ones, which include renewable energy, communications, road infrastructure, real estate and emerging companies.

The two parties discussed ways to strengthen and diversify the existing economic partnership, adopt innovative initiatives that contribute to enhancing the business community’s access to available opportunities, support the growth and expansion of emerging companies in the two countries’ markets, and provide them with more advantages and incentives, in order to ensure an increase in their contribution to supporting the gross domestic product.

An Emirati government delegation also participated in the annual conference of the “Confederation of Indian Industries” in the Indian capital, New Delhi. Where the global investment platform “Investopia” announced the launch of a new partnership, by signing a memorandum of understanding with the “Confederation of Indian Industries” to exchange experiences, trade delegations and knowledge content, and to promote promising investment opportunities in the Indian and UAE markets within the new economic sectors, as well as organizing joint events and conferences. To support communication between the Emirati and Indian business communities.

– June 2023 .. 100 billion.

India and the UAE agreed last June to boost bilateral non-oil trade between them and reach $100 billion annually by 2030, according to Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.

His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, attributed the growth of trade volume between the two countries to the signing of the strategic partnership agreement, which had a clear positive impact on trade and investment flows between the two countries, indicating that the value of non-oil intra-trade between the UAE and India amounted to $45.5 billion. In the first 11 months since the agreement entered into force on May 1, 2022, an annual increase of 6.9% over the corresponding period.

A year into the partnership.

Last June, the UAE and India celebrated one year since the entry into force of the Comprehensive Partnership Agreement. Where an official delegation, headed by His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, participated in the first meeting of the Joint Committee of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The joint committee aims to assess the impact of the agreement, exchange data and experiences, review implementation issues, revise customs duties and quotas, recommend any necessary amendments, work to overcome any challenges, and communicate about private sector observations from both sides.

The committee is also responsible for exploring ways to improve dispute resolution mechanisms, including establishing sub-committees, and identifying areas for modifications to meet the specific needs of both sides.

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