14th India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting (JCM)

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    In News

    • India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently held talks on bilateral ties.

    More about the news

    • Mr. Jaishankar co-chaired the 14th India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) along with his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
    • Bilateral Trade & investments:
      • Both countries have reiterated their commitment to achieving the ambitious goal of USD 100 billion of bilateral trade in the next five years.
      • Both ministers noted the commitment on either side to further strengthen their long-term energy partnership, including two-way investments
      • Both sides expressed happiness at the entry into force of the landmark Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
    • Energy cooperation:
      • There was progress in discussions on various aspects related to renewable energy and green hydrogen.
    • Regarding other international forums:
      • Both ministers reviewed the ongoing discussions between the two sides in the area of food security, including in the I2U2 framework
    • Two MoUs:
      • Two MOUs were signed between the two sides in the presence of the ministers. These include 
        • MOU between the Wildlife Institute of India and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation for the Conservation of the Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican and 
        • MOU between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) on the establishment of the India-UAE Cultural Council Forum.
    • Establishment of IIT in UAE:
      • The discussions between both sides on the establishment of an IIT in UAE have also moved forward with the establishment of a Joint Working Group between institutions on both sides.

    India-UAE Relations

    • Evolution of relations:
      • Beginning of diplomatic relations:
        • India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) established diplomatic relations in 1972
        • UAE opened its Embassy in Delhi in 1972 & India opened its Embassy in Abu Dhabi in 1973.
      • 2015:
        • The traditionally strong bilateral relations enjoyed by India & UAE received an impetus with the visit of PM Modi to UAE on 16-17 August 2015 which marked the beginning of a new strategic partnership between the two countries.
      • The ‘Order of Zayed’:
        • Modi’s last visit to the UAE was in August 2019, when he received the UAE’s highest award, ‘Order of Zayed’.
      • 2022:
        • In February 2022 both sides signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
        • The Dubai-based DP World and India’s National Skills Development Council signed an agreement to set up a Skill India Centre in Varanasi to train local youth in logistics, port operations and allied areas so that they can pursue overseas employment.
    • Trade:
      • Bilateral trade in FY 2021-22 was about US$ 72 billion
      • UAE is India’s third largest trade partner and second largest export destination.
      • UAE’s FDI in India has increased over the past few years and currently stands at over $12 billion.
    • Defence and Security Cooperation:
      • Bilateral Defence Interaction between India and UAE has been steadily growing in accordance with other aspects of the bilateral relationship. 
        • The ships of the Navies of both countries have regularly made port calls enhancing bilateral defence co-operation. 
        • India and UAE signed a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2017, and hold annual defence dialogues
        • More recently, UAE is a key part of the Indian Ocean Region dialogue.
        • Both sides take part in military exercises with each other and there have been several Military chiefs visits.
    • Technology partnerships:
      • India and the UAE have signed a number of digital innovation, technology partnerships, and also plans for ISRO and UAESA to cooperate on missions like the Red Moon mission. 
      • The Emirates has offered “golden visa” residency permits for doctors, engineers, PhD scholars and specialists in high-end technology fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, virology and epidemiology, and brought over the former ISRO chief K. Radhakrishnan to their space agency.
    • Cultural Relations:
      • The importance given to Indian culture by the UAE was further highlighted in April, 2019 when India participated as the Guest of Honour Country in Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2019
      • Indian cinema/ TV / radio channels are easily available and have good viewership; major theaters/cinema halls in the UAE screen commercial Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil films
      • The Emirati community also participates in our annual International Day of Yoga events and various schools of yoga & meditation centres are running successfully in the UAE. 

    Way ahead

    • The UAE today is India’s closest partner in the Arab world and fortunately, there is enough resilience in bilateral ties to withstand the recent convulsions.
    • India and UAE continue to forge closer partnership in these areas, building on their close and friendly relations and historical people-to-people connect. India-UAE has a strong energy partnership which is now acquiring a new focus on renewable energy.
    • It will take a sustained public diplomacy effort to further improve the relations. 

    The I2U2 Group

    • I2U2 stands for India, Israel, the UAE, and the US, and was also referred to as the ‘West Asian Quad’.
    • The group was first conceptualised in October 2021, during a meeting of the foreign ministers of the four countries in Israel.
      • At that time, the grouping was called the ‘International Forum for Economic Cooperation’.
    • Aim:
      • Its stated aim is to discuss “common areas of mutual interest, to strengthen the economic partnership in trade and investment in our respective regions and beyond”.
      • Six areas of cooperation have been identified by the countries mutually.
        • The aim is to encourage joint investments in 
          • Water, 
          • Energy, 
          • Transportation, 
          • Space, 
          • Health, and 
          • Food security.
      • With the help of “private sector capital and expertise”, the countries will look to modernise infrastructure, explore low carbon development avenues for industries, improve public health, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies.