Daily Current Affairs – 25th January, 2017DEVENDRA VISHWAKARMA
India UAE Relations
Over the years India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have forged a very strong friendship based on cultural, religious and economic ties. The friendship between the two flourished under the rule of H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and then later with the creation of the UAE Federation in 1971. Both the countries have constantly made efforts to take the relationship to new heights constantly.
The relationship, in contemporary times, is further set for a boost. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited UAE in 2015 and was the first Indian PM in 34 years to visit UAE. The crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be this chief guest at India’s Republic Day Parade this year and the present government has always used this platform to send important policy signals.
Areas of Cooperation
Trade and Commerce
- UAE is the third largest trade partner of India next only to China and the USA and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries together are India’s second largest trade partners.
- India’s energy needs are primarily satisfied through the UAE and other Gulf nations. The GCC is the source of 45% of India’s petroleum and UAE is one of the biggest sources of oil imports into India.
- UAE’s Sovereign Wealth Fund is the future source of huge investments for India.
- UAE-India Infrastructure Investment Fund is also expected to see progress this time as a Memorandum of Agreement for the Fund will be signed between the two nations without further delay.
Defence and Strategy
- India UAE have signed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement this week which paves the way for joint defence production and more defence procurement deals between the two countries.
- Due to the importance of Strait of Hormuz and Bab-el-Mandeb, Indian Navy has regularly paid visits to important port locations for ensuring security measures are in place.
- India and UAE have also carried out naval exercises in this region and Indian warships have been placed for tracking piracy and carrying out anti piracy operations.
- To promote regional security, cooperation for reconstruction and the peace process in Afghanistan is an important areas for both the countries to be on the same page.
Human Resource and Indian Diaspora
- India has the highest percentage of diaspora in the Gulf nations including UAE and more than 50% of India’s remittances are received from this region. Therefore, for cordial relations it is very important for UAE to ensure proper living conditions for these workers.
- India has also launched an eMigrate System to provide for recruitment of Indian workers in UAE and other countries.
- UAE is highly interested in India’s human resource for sectors such as information technology, construction and transportation. Hence, the two nations are looking to sign labour agreements to ensure employment and good working conditions.
Both UAE and India are located critically in terms of proximity to terrorism affected areas. As a result both have agreed to partner on opposition to terrorism. It is important for the two nations to partner in calling other states to abandon terrorism, destroy all forms of infrastructure that supports terrorism and ensure that terrorists and stakeholders are punished adequately.
With the Islamic State (IS) growing on one side and Pakistan located in close proximity on the other, the Gulf nations including UAE face a dual danger in terms of terrorism. Even though Pakistan has been a close ally of the UAE, there has been a constant inclination towards improving relations with India for regional security.
The constantly evolving geopolitics globally, with China’s rise and emergence of Islamic State, has made it important for India to focus on this partnership. This partnership has a unique 360 degrees relevance. The two countries are important to each other for economic, defence, strategic, people to people ties and energy security. With the falling oil prices, India also provides UAE an alternative opportunity for making investments. UAE has to ensure that it safeguards the interests of the strong Indian diaspora. These measures will go a long way in sustainability of this unique partnership.
Connecting the dots
- UAE is not only important for India’s energy security but holds a comprehensive 360 degrees relevance. Highlight he areas of cooperation between the two nations and how will India benefit from this relationship.