The UAE-India partnership is moving onwards and upwards

India's 75th Republic Day is an occasion to honour one of its most enduring friendships

Sheikh Mohamed attends Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in India

Sheikh Mohamed attends Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in India
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As India celebrates its 75th Republic Day, the tapestry of its international relationships shimmers with the enduring friendship shared with the UAE. Forged through the ancient trade routes of spices and pearls, this partnership has blossomed into a dynamic collaboration, pulsating with economic opportunity, strategic convergence and unwavering mutual respect.

The India-UAE partnership is driven by the commitment of our leaders at the highest level. It is evident by the number of high-level interactions in 2023, especially between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, who share a very special bond based on mutual trust and respect.

Most recently, Sheikh Mohamed graced the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2024 as its chief guest at the personal invitation of the Prime Minister. Not only did the Prime Minister receive Sheikh Mohamed in person on arrival, but the people of India also opened their hearts as thousands lined the streets of Ahmedabad to welcome him. Sheikh Mohamed addressed the summit, which speaks volumes about the value that our leaders attach to the India-UAE friendship.

Only a month ago, Mr Modi was the only world leader to address the High-Level Segment for Heads of State and Government at the World Climate Action Summit of Cop28 in Dubai. India and the UAE stand shoulder-to-shoulder with each other and on the world stage. India’s steadfast commitment to the success of Cop28 and the UAE’s unwavering support for India’s G20 presidency is an unparalleled feat.

The India-UAE partnership has blossomed into a dynamic collaboration, pulsating with economic opportunity, strategic convergence and mutual respect

The bonhomie and goodwill between our leaders are backed by regular interactions between high-level dignitaries from both countries. Our foreign ministers remain close confidants and have met on several occasions in the UAE and India, and also at international events including the UN General Assembly. Ministers of education, environment, energy, trade and investments, among others, have met during the past year as well.

The partnership has grown by leaps and bounds since the unveiling of the India-UAE Joint Vision Document “New Frontiers, New Milestones” in February 2022, and has further harnessed the respective strengths of the two countries across sectors.

In yet another first, the central banks of India and the UAE agreed to a framework of settlements in local currencies. To date, several large-scale transactions – including food, gems and jewellery and even crude oil – have been settled in Indian rupees and dirhams. Also, the National Payments Corporation of India and Etihad Payments of the UAE signed an agreement for the development of the UAE’s domestic card system, which will be undertaken based on the revolutionary RuPay card stack from India. These landmark steps will not only benefit the business community but will also pave the way for a more robust trade settlement system that is resilient in the face of geopolitical and economic uncertainty.

The UAE’s prowess in delivering state-of-the-art logistics, shipping and port infrastructure is second to none, and the mutually beneficial opportunities for the growing Indian economy are immense. The UAE’s private sector companies such as DP World and Transworld, among others, have announced several large-scale investments in India’s ports, shipping and logistics sectors.

The shared story of India and the UAE is strengthened by our peoples.

The UAE is home to more than 3.5 million Indians who reside, work and contribute to the prosperity of both our nations. A testament to our shared vision is the upcoming Indian Institute of Technology Delhi campus in Abu Dhabi. A world-class Indian engineering and technology institution, IIT D Abu Dhabi, combined with the Emirati striving for excellence and innovation, will be a model for state-of-the-art education. That the first master's course will begin within a year of its conception is yet another example of our countries’ collective will to deliver on our leaders’ vision.

There is no doubt that our countries share an indomitable commitment to promoting peace, tolerance and universal brotherhood, not just within our borders but also across the region and the world. It is only fitting that the largest Hindu temple in the region, the Baps Hindu Mandir, will be inaugurated by Mr Modi in Abu Dhabi in February.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of India's Republic Day, the story of India-UAE friendship goes beyond economic gain or strategic alignment. It is a testament to the human spirit's ability to forge bonds across continents, celebrating differences while embracing shared values. It is a story of two nations who, for 75 years, have walked hand-in-hand, traversing deserts and oceans, paving the way for a future where prosperity, sustainability and mutual respect reign supreme.

As we step into the next 75 years, let us continue to bridge continents, build bridges of understanding, and together write the next chapter of this extraordinary friendship – a chapter that promises to be even brighter, bolder and more impactful than the previous one.

Published: January 26, 2024, 5:00 AM