The cooperation under this initiative was discussed during a meeting on Tuesday between visiting Foreign Minister of the UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
“On food security cooperation under I2U2, a delegation led by the CEO of ADQ visited India in October 2022 to take discussions forward with different stakeholders,” the MEA said in a press note.
The I2U2 leaders’ summit was held in July in which a decision was taken to harness private capital among the member countries for projects on agriculture, infrastructure, digital connectivity, water, energy, and transportation. ADQ is an “active investor” and a Sovereign Wealth Fund located in Abu Dhabi.
On Tuesday, the two sides took note that bilateral ties witnessed an “appreciable” growth since the conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA that came into force on May 1.
“India’s exports to UAE between April-September 2022 were about $16 billion which was an increase of 24% year to year while India’s imports increased 38% to reach $28.4 billion in the same time period,” the MEA said.
Apart from, bilateral trade the two sides also discussed, energy, healthcare, defense, space, climate change, skills, fin-tech, and start-ups.
The two Ministers also discussed the “global situation and various regional hotspots” during the talks, the MEA added.
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the Abu Dhabi Space Debate in the first week of December, and taking forward their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, India and UAE reviewed the bilateral relationship between the two sides across various sectors.
One of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries – UAE has been invited to attend the G-20 Summit as a special invitee.
In New Delhi, External Affairs Minister, Dr. S Jaishankar met his counterpart from UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the focus of the talks was on energy and food security, defense and space, healthcare, climate change, start-ups, fin-tech, and skills. During the meeting, UAE MOS for International Cooperation, Reem Al Hashimy, and Foreign Secretary, Vinay Kwatra was also present. Accompanied by a high-level delegation UAE Foreign Minister bin Zayed Al Nahyan concluded his two-day official visit to India on Tuesday.
According to an official statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) at the end of the meeting, besides reviewing the progress in different domains, the two sides were appreciative of the progress made especially in investment, food security, trade, investment, consular matters, and education.
The bilateral trade between the two countries has shown significant growth since May 2022, when the CEPA between the two countries became operational. There was a 24 percent increase year to year in the exports from India to the UAE between April-September 2022 touched $16 billion and imports from there witnessed a 38 percent $28.4 billion in the same year.
Food Security Cooperation
Both India and UAE under I2U2 are in discussions about the investment of $2 billion from the Gulf nation UAE. This investment is to be put in to develop food corridors in India and another $300 million will be used for building a 300 GW hybrid (wind and solar) power plant.
In October, under I2U2 (India, Israel, UAE, and the US) there was a delegation visit led by the CEO of ADQ to take discussions forward with different stakeholders. For establishing IIT Delhi Campus in Abu Dhabi there was a meeting between IIT Delhi and its Abu Dhabi partner, ADEK. In October and November, the two countries had meetings of the Joint Committee on Consular Affairs and the Joint Working Group.
During the High-Level Task Force meeting on Investments in October 2022, the entire range of investment and trade cooperation was discussed.
Today both ministers shared their views on various regional hotspots as well as the global situation, as well as cooperation in the UN Security Council.
India-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
The relations have witnessed transformational changes since 2014 and in eight years Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited that country four times. In June this year, PM Modi visited UAE and met on June 28, 2022, during which he met UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Around four times in three months, the foreign ministers have met four times and in September this year, Dr. Jaishankar visited that country to co-chair the 14th Joint Commission Meeting and the 3rd Strategic Dialogue with his counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed.
The first ever CEPA was inked with UAE earlier this year in February which became operational in May.
The bilateral trade in the first five months of FY2023 between the two countries stands at $36.82 billion and this is projected to surpass $88 billion for the current financial year as compared to $73 billion in FY2022. According to reports after the USA and China, India’s 3rd largest trading partner is the UAE.
The two sides are discussing the possibility of trade in local currencies – the Indian rupee and dirham. And to make it easy are also discussing the use of UPI as a payment platform for remittances from the 3.5 million-strong Indian community in UAE.
According to sources almost $10 billion in investments have come from the UAE and this includes investments such as $525 million in Tata Power in April, $1 billion in Tata Motors (electric vehicles, Oct 2021), $2 billion in Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail (June 2020), and $2 billion in Adani (renewable energy, Apr 2022).
And last December in a joint venture in UAE Reliance invested $2 billion in petrochemicals.
For the construction of a Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi, the UAE government has given 26 acres of land.