The much-anticipated free trade agreement between India and the UAE will be inked during a virtual meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Let’s first talk about the details of this agreement and it is called the comprehensive economic partnership agreement, the negotiations on this agreement started in September 2021 and the deal was agreed upon in December India’s ministry of external affairs. The spokesperson took to Twitter and highlighted that the focus will be on comprehensive strategic partnership from prosperity growth and security of the two countries.
This will be the second major trade deal after February 2021, India had signed comprehensive economic cooperation and partnership agreement with Mauritius. At the moment India is in the process of negotiating free trade agreements with the UK, Australia, the European Union, Canada, and as well as Israel.
The Indian prime minister and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi have held several conversations in the past the Indian prime minister was to visit the UAE on the 6th of January, but when that was when the pact was supposed to be signed but the visit could not materialize due to the surge in the omicron cases. The high-level visits between India and the UAE have been common over the past few years the two countries have been cooperating in the areas of defense security, cyber security, health care as well as artificial intelligence. There are 3.4 million Indians in the UAE that’s the largest Indian diaspora anywhere in the world.
An important development will take place when it comes to India and UAE relationship, not only the virtual summit between India and UAE will be presided over by the Indian and UAE leadership but also the signing of the much-awaited fta the free trade agreement. Now, we need to understand that this is a fta that helps both countries in both ways but also increases more avenues for trade the bilateral relationship between the two countries stands at around 60 billion dollars and UAE is one of the largest investors in India.
Other than this, the fta being an important milestone there has been engagement in the past high-level visits has been part of the relationship, the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has been to UAE three times and UAE leadership have been to India many times and we know that people-to-people relationship is the main substratum of this relationship.
UAE has the largest number of Indians outside of India and they form essentially the living bridge between the two countries. When it comes to energy UAE is the only foreign strategic partner of India in its strategic oil reserves and the focus is that there is more engagement especially on defense remember that there have been high-level visits of the Indian military establishment to UAE and we can expect more such engagement. But essentially this week has been a week of increased engagement with West Asia with the gulf given that we saw that the Omani navy chief was in Delhi and also Saudi Arabia’s army chief wars in Delhi this is the first year visit by Saudi Arabian army chief to Delhi.
(Image Source: The Indian Express)