H.E. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces, met virtually on February 18, 2022. During the meeting, Prime Minister Modi congratulated the UAE on the 50th anniversary of its foundation, meanwhile, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed congratulated His Excellency Modi and the Indian people on the 75th anniversary of independence.
Acknowledging 50 years of strong bilateral ties, both leaders agreed on a Roadmap for a future-looking partnership between the UAE and India, strengthening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with opportunities for greater depth and breadth of cooperation. The Roadmap will ensure that the two countries work together even more closely to address the shared global challenges, achieve shared objectives and build a robust and resilient relationship that is future ready. The Roadmap will promote the development of new trade, investment, and innovation dynamics, and intensify bilateral engagement in diverse areas.
The partnership between the two countries has led to the joint work on several agreements and Memorandum of Understanding in several areas, including: The Economy, Climate Change and Houbara Conservation, Industries and Advanced Technologies, Low Carbon Hydrogen Developments and Investments, Food Security, Financial Services, and Issuance of India-UAE Joint Stamps.
Acknowledging the economic synergies and shared vision, the Leaders welcomed the signing of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and expressed confidence that this Agreement will usher in stronger economic relations between the two countries and open new avenues for trade and investment. The Leaders welcomed the establishment of a dedicated India Mart in Jebel Ali Free Zone and directed their respective officials to further promote two-way investments in infrastructure projects, including expediting work on establishing a dedicated investment zone for UAE companies and joint ventures which would focus on inter alia establishing a food corridor.
Additionally, the Leaders encouraged to create investment opportunities for Indian investors in establishing specialised industrial advanced technology zones in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, integrating local value chains of the existing and future specialised economic zones in areas of logistics & services, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, agriculture, agri-tech, steel and aluminium.
Recognising shared cultural heritage and strong ties rooted in history, the Leaders agreed to set up an India – UAE Cultural Council to facilitate and promote cross- cultural exchanges, cultural projects, exhibitions and dialogue between thought leaders of the two countries. The initiative will be coordinated by the Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UAE, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
Over the last fifty years, the energy sector has been one of the key pillars that have enabled a special and mutually beneficial relationship between the UAE and India. Today, India is one of the UAE’s most important energy trading partners.
Strategic ties between the two nations have strengthened in recent years, particularly in the field of energy. Through the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, both countries have promoted and delivered significant investment opportunities. The UAE is one of India’s key energy providers and remains committed to meeting India’s growing energy demand and is proud to have been the first international partner to invest by way of crude oil in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves Program. Indian companies have steadily increased their participation across the entire UAE’s energy sector and represent some of Abu Dhabi’s key concession and exploration partners.
Further work will be undertaken to identify new collaboration opportunities to support India’s energy requirements, including new energies, and ensure the provision of affordable and secure energy supplies to India’s growing economy. As the UAE and India collectively navigate the global energy transition, both countries remain committed to working together to create a just and equitable transition to a low-carbon future.
(Climate action and renewables)
Prime Minister Modi congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohamed on UAE’s selection as the host of COP28 in 2023. Recognising the imperative need for climate action, the Leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation towards accelerating climate action to facilitate the energy transition and implementation of the Paris Agreement. The Leaders also agreed to work closely in the contexts of COP, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
Recognising that climate action will bring significant opportunities, for societies, for economic growth, and for businesses, the Leaders agreed to support each other’s clean energy missions. In this context, the Leaders agreed to establish a joint Hydrogen Task Force to help scale up technologies, with a special focus on the production of Green Hydrogen. The leaders acknowledged ongoing UAE investments in India’s clean technology programs and initiatives and called for reinforcement of B- B and public-private partnerships.
Recognising that the rapidly digitalizing world offers immense opportunities to accelerate economic growth and human development as well as to create new opportunities for investment, The Leaders agreed that the UAE and India expand cooperation and collaborate on critical technologies and mutually promote e- businesses and e-payment solutions.
Acknowledging the rapid success of start-ups in India and the UAE in recent years, the Leaders agreed to collaborate to promote start-ups from both countries to expand into the two regions and utilize such platforms as basis for growth. The start-ups could focus on, interalia, fintech, edutech, health care, logistics and supply chain, agritech, chip design and green energy. The Leaders directed their officials to explore mechanisms and sectors to promote collaboration.
Both India and the UAE recognise the value of upskilling on enhancing workforce productivity, and value the contribution of the skilled workforce from India in various economic sectors in the UAE. The two parties agreed to enhance their cooperation in order to develop a mutually agreed professional standards and skills framework. The two parties agreed to closely work together to ensure that the UAE labour market skill needs from India are met by ensuring workforce access to training programs that are in alignment with the market needs and address the changing needs for the future of work.
Acknowledging India’s and the United Arab Emirates’ historic strategic partnership in the field of food security and the need to enhance the resilience and reliability of food supply chains, as demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Leaders agreed to expand cooperation through enhanced bilateral Food and Agriculture trade and Responsible Foreign Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems. The Leaders agreed that India and UAE will contribute to promoting and strengthening the infrastructure and dedicated logistic services connecting farms to ports to final destinations in the UAE. The Leaders directed relevant government agencies and industry partners to initiate and implement pilot projects pilot projects in both countries.
Emphasising the need for close collaboration among countries to deal with Covid-19 pandemic and to promote overall public health, the Leaders recognised the role played by India, and the UAE, in providing vaccines to the world. The Leaders agreed to collaborate in research, production and development of reliable supply chains for vaccines and to enhance investments by UAE entities in the rapidly growing health infrastructure in India. The leaders also agreed to collaborate in providing health care in underprivileged countries.
Confirming the historical relations existing between the two countries and realizing the need to establish world-class institutions that encourage and support innovation and technological progress, the leaders agreed to establish an Indian Institute of Technology in the United Arab Emirates.
(Cooperation in international arena)
Reflecting shared values and principles, and growing strategic convergence, the Leaders resolved to reinforce mutual support in multilateral areas to promote collaboration in economic and infrastructure spheres. With the UAE being a non- permanent member of United Nation Security Council for 2022-23, His Excellency Modi congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohamed for the UAE joining the United Nation Security Council as a non-permanent member for 2022-23 and assured full support. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed congratulated Prime Minister Modi for India’s Presidency of G-20 in 2023.
(Defence and Security)
The Leaders agreed to enhance maritime cooperation contributing to maintenance of peace and security in the region. The Leaders agreed to continue defence exchanges, sharing of experiences, training and capacity building.
Discussing regional issues, the Leaders recalled the importance of maintaining and strengthening peace in the Middle East. They reiterated that dialogue and cooperation must be the cornerstone of a more integrated, stable and prosperous region, and India welcomed the outlook of the UAE in this respect. The Leaders agreed to support international efforts to maintain peace and security in the region and resolve regional conflicts, including efforts to support the reactivation of the Middle East Peace Process in line with the two-state solution and based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and previous agreements between the parties. They expressed hope that the Abraham Accords will contribute to regional peace and create positive change for the Middle East region.
The Leaders reaffirmed their joint commitment to the fight against extremism and terrorism, including cross-border terrorism, in all forms, at both regional and international levels. They agreed to deepen their bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism, terrorist financing and extremism. In this context, they emphasized the importance of promoting the values of peace, moderation, coexistence and tolerance among peoples, and stressed the need for all forms of terrorism, extremism, violence, hatred, discrimination and incitement to be renounced.
In view of the recent terror attacks against the UAE, Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s full solidarity with the leadership, government and people of the UAE and offered condolences to the UAE over the victims of this cowardly terrorist act.
February 18, 2022