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International Relations

India- UAE Virtual Summit

  • 19 Feb 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Location of UAE and the Neighbourhood, CEPA, Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, Gift City,Gulf Cooperation Council.

For Mains: India and its Neighbourhood, Bilateral Groupings & Agreements, India- UAE Relations.

Why in News?

What are the Key Highlights of the Meeting?

  • Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: Issued a Joint Vision Statement "Advancing the India and UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: New Frontiers, New Milestone”.
    • The Statement establishes a roadmap for a future-oriented partnership between India and UAE and identifies focus areas and outcomes.
    • The shared objective is to promote new trade, investment and innovation dynamics in diverse sectors.
  • Defence and Security: Agreed to enhance maritime cooperation contributing to maintenance of peace and security in the region.
    • Reaffirmed joint commitment to fight against extremism and terrorism, including cross-border terrorism, in all forms, at both regional and international levels.
  • Climate Action and Renewables: Agreed to support each other’s clean energy missions and establish a joint Hydrogen Task Force to help scale up technologies, with special focus on production of Green Hydrogen.
  • Emerging Technologies: Agreed to expand cooperation on critical technologies and mutually promote e-businesses and e-payment solutions and promote start-ups from both countries.
  • Education Cooperation: Agreed to establish an Indian Institute of Technology in the UAE.
  • Health Cooperation: Decided to collaborate in research, production and development of reliable supply chains for vaccines and enhance investments by UAE entities in the health infrastructure in India as well as collaborate in providing healthcare in underprivileged nations.
  • Food Security: Acknowledged the need to enhance the resilience and reliability of food supply chains.
    • Also decided to expand cooperation through enhanced bilateral food and agriculture trade and, promote and strengthen the infrastructure and dedicated logistic services connecting farms to ports to final destinations in the UAE.
  • Skills Cooperation: Agreed to enhance cooperation in skill development so as to align with the market needs and address the changing needs for the future of work.
  • Released Joint Commemorative Stamp on the occasion of 75th anniversary of India's independence and 50th year of UAE's foundation.
  • Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA): In a significant development, the two sides inked a CEPA to further boost trade and investment ties.
    • Plastic, agriculture, food products, automobile, engineering, pharmaceuticals are some of the areas that will be boosted because of the pact.
    • The deal will open up to 10 lakh jobs for the young people in the country and would also open access to broader African and Asian markets for India.
    • The CEPA is expected to increase bilateral trade from the current level of USD 60 billion to USD 100 billion in the next five years (2022-27).

What is CEPA?

  • It is a kind of free trade pact which covers negotiation on the trade in services and investment, and other areas of economic partnership. It may even consider negotiation on areas such as trade facilitation and customs cooperation, competition, and Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Partnership agreements or cooperation agreements are more comprehensive than Free Trade Agreements.
  • CEPA also looks into the regulatory aspect of trade and encompasses an agreement covering the regulatory issues.
  • India has signed CEPAs with South Korea and Japan.

What is the Current State of India-UAE Relations?

  • About:
    • India and the UAE enjoy strong bonds of friendship based on age-old cultural, religious and economic ties between the two nations.
    • The relationship flourished after the accession of H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and subsequently with the creation of the UAE Federation in 1971.
  • Political Relations:
    • In 2019, UAE awarded the ZAYED Medal, their highest civilian award, to the Prime Minister of India for consolidating the long-standing friendship and joint strategic cooperation between the two nations.
    • The Indian Prime Minister’s visit to the UAE in August 2015 marked the beginning of a new and comprehensive and strategic partnership.
  • Economic Relations:
    • India-UAE trade was around USD 60 billion making UAE, India’s third-largest trading partner for the year 2019-20 after China and the USA.
    • The UAE is the second-largest export destination of India with an amount of over USD 29 billion for the year 2019-20.
    • For the UAE, India is the second-largest trading partner for the year 2019 with an amount of around USD 41.43 billion for non-oil trade.
  • Cultural Relations:
    • The two nations share historical ties and have maintained regular cultural exchanges both at official and popular levels.
    • They signed a Cultural Agreement in 1975 and the embassies continue to organise various cultural activities on their own as well as by collaborating with other cultural organisations.
  • Indian Community:
    • The UAE is home to the Indian expatriate community of more than 2.6 million, the largest expatriate community in the UAE, which has played a major role in the economic development of the UAE.
    • Recently, India has asked the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which also includes UAE, to facilitate the return of Indians who want to resume work with the relaxing of Covid-19-related restrictions.

Source: PIB

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