India UAE Bilateral Relations
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TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.
- India and West Asia Relations.
India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Relationship: Enjoys strong bonds of friendship based on age-old cultural, religious and economic ties
In the aftermath of 9/11 and then the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2014 by US president Barack Obama, there was a feeling of abandonment across the Arab world — which also led to them looking at stable and emerging partners in the region. India, which has always been a friend of the UAE, fulfilled those requirements.
As India seeks to enhance economic engagement and deepen security cooperation with the Gulf, it finds a willing partner in the UAE. On the other hand, as the UAE ‘Look[s] East’ to find partners for its economic growth and grapples with security concerns emanating from turmoil in West Asia and growing threat from terrorism and extremism, it finds a natural partner in India.
Factors pushing India and the UAE to enhance their engagement:
- Current flux in West Asia
- Rise of radical and extremist forces
- Changes in the regional order
- Uncertainties over US policy under President Donald Trump
- India’s growing interest in the Gulf region driven by its economic and trade ties, energy stakes
- Over seven-million strong Indian diaspora in the Gulf (including 2.6 million people in the UAE)
Why is UAE special for India:
- Central to India’s pitch for improving foreign direct investments (FDIs) inflow to the country with the large sovereign wealth and business acumen (India is the UAE’s largest trading partner, while the UAE is India’s third largest trading partner after China and the US.)
- Expo-2020, the world’s third largest global event after the Olympics is going to be held in Dubai → Boost infrastructure related activities in the UAE → Open opportunities for Indian investors (UAE is focused on diversifying its economy)
To counter terrorist threats and combat online radicalization
- India and UAE are rapidly expanding cooperation in the areas of defence, maritime security, space, civilian nuclear energy, defence manufacturing and collaboration between security agencies with an eye on fighting terrorism.
- India has stepped up efforts to raise the issue of cross-border terrorism and use of religion to incite terror activities against India during its engagements with these countries. The Mumbai Attack gave a very powerful message against ‘jihad’ sponsored by Pakistan.
Way Ahead: To tap into further opportunities and untapped potential, and give new impetus to Strategic Partnership
Medical Tourism in India:
- Finest human resources
- Provision of world class medical facilities
- Cost for production and transmission of solar energy in the UAE are a fraction to that of India
- Indian companies with expertise in this area should invest in the renewable energy sector in UAE.
Improve the investment climate in India to attract UAE businesses:
- Significant scope for growth in automobile industry, services sector, agriculture and allied industries.
- Need to ease business regulations and reduce the time spent on getting clearances
Connecting the Dots:
- The growing synergy between India and the UAE is a testimony to the economic and strategic importance of this region for India. Elucidate.
- Even though UAE’s economic, political and cultural links with India, dates back to more than a century, the relationship has not matured to the extent that was expected. Critically analyse.
- A peaceful West Asia is a necessity for India to maintain its energy security. Critically examine the above statement with respect to the ongoing conflicts in West Asia.
- 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.
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