NEW DELHI: The New Year has brought in a new era of cooperation and synergy between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
It starts with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan leading a roadshow from Ahmedabad airport to the Sabarmati ashram on January 9. The two leaders will be holding the grand roadshow of friendship on the eve of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, the inaugural ceremony of which will be attended by the UAE President.
The Ahmedabad roadshow will only be the beginning of several top-level India-UAE engagements in the coming days. It will be followed by ‘Ahland Modi’, a mega diaspora event in the UAE on February 13, which will be addressed by PM Modi. A day after, the Indian PM will be inaugurating the first Hindu Temple built by BAPS in Abu Dhabi. The UAE President is likely to be present on both the occasions.
A summit-level meet of the I2U2 grouping, which includes India and the UAE besides Israel and the US, is also scheduled in the beginning of the year, but no official confirmation on the dates or participants, is available so far. The Vibrant Gujarat summit – a biennial event initiated by PM Modi in 2003 during his tenure as the Chief Minister of the state – has evolved into a vital platform attracting top-tier business leaders, investors, and policymakers from across the world in the last two decades.
Gujarat’s pivotal role
Acknowledging the credentials of the summit’s growth with each edition reflecting Gujarat’s pivotal role in advancing India’s economic agenda, the UAE is participating in this edition in full strength with its President as the Guest of Honour for the inaugural ceremony.
The expanding economic and strategic cooperation between India and the UAE is evident not just in the business front but in the strategic and military front. The first-ever Indo-UAE joint military exercise is currently underway in the Thar desert of Rajasthan.
UAE today is the seventh-largest investor in India in terms of Foreign Direct Investment. The two countries made history recently when India made its first-ever local currency payment to the UAE in an oil trade.
Also, India played a significant role in the entry of the UAE into the BRICS on January 1 this year, along with that of Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Egypt and Iran.