- Counter-terrorism has become a key element in talks between India and the Gulf nations
- India and UAE have agreed to increase the bilateral trade by 60% in 2020
In a veiled reference to Pakistan, India and the UAE condemned efforts by states to use religion to sponsor and sustain terrorism against other countries. In a joint statement, they also agreed to coordinate efforts to counter radicalisation and misuse of religion by groups and countries for inciting hatred and perpetrating acts of terrorism. The statement said, “The two sides condemned efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries. They further deplored efforts by countries to give religious and sectarian colour to political issues and pointed out the responsibility of all states to control the activities of the so-called ‘non-state actors’.”
The two countries signed an MoU which aims to enhance bilateral cooperation on the issue of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking, especially of women and children expeditiously.
The oil factor
India signed a deal with the UAE allowing the Gulf nation to fill half of an underground crude oil storage facility at Mangalore that is part of New Delhi’s strategic reserve system. A second agreement was signed between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) on storage and management of oil at strategic facilities in India. This agreement aims to establish a framework for the storage of crude oil by ADNOC in India and to further strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries in the field of energy. Since India imports nearly 80 percent of its oil requirements, the government had decided to set up oil storages as a cushion against external supply disruptions, as also during emergencies.
An MoU was signed which aims to establish cooperation in the identified fields of defence manufacturing and technology, including through studies, research, development, innovation and cooperation between public and private sector institutions of the two countries. The two sides will cooperate in areas of armaments, defence industries and transfer of technology. India sees UAE as one of its main destinations for arms exports in the future. In fact, strengthening the Defence partnership was one of the highlights of Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi’s trip to the UAE in 2015. The process is yet to be put in place which charts the flow of the flow of the funds.
This was the most anticipated part of the visit. Knowing that Sheikh Zayed has committed $75 billion to develop infrastructure in India. In March 2016, the government cleared a Memorandum of Understanding between India and the United Arab Emirates to explore opportunities for mobilisation of up to $75 billion long-term investment in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.
The bilateral trade during 2015-2016 was US $49.729 Billion. UAE is amongst India's largest trade partners. To realise the potential for further growth, India and UAE have agreed to increase the bilateral trade by 60% in 2020. For the UAE, India was the biggest trade partner in 2015 — over $ 28 billion in non-oil trade.
Another MoU signed between the two countries provides a framework for enhancing bilateral maritime trade ties through facilitating maritime transport, free transfer of monies between contracting parties and reciprocal recognition of ships’ documents. A second MoU aiming to deepen the maritime economic activities in general by establishing a framework for Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of marine officers, engineers and crews was also signed.
Apart from this, an agreement on comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the UAE was also signed during the Crown Prince’s visit. "This is a general framework agreement which highlights the areas of bilateral cooperation identified under the comprehensive strategic partnership as agreed upon in the high level joint statements issued in August 2015 and February 2016," the Indian government said.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:34 PM