IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


13th June, 2023 International Relations

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  • The 1st Meeting of the Joint Committee (JC) of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).


  • India and UAE successfully held the 1st Meeting of the Joint Committee (JC) of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
  • The meeting took place during the visit of a high-level delegation from the UAE to India, led by H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade of the UAE.
  • The agreed minutes of the meeting were signed, marking the successful conclusion of the 1st Meeting of the Joint Committee.
  • The visit also marked the India leg of the 1st Anniversary of the Implementation of the India-UAE CEPA.

Review of Bilateral Trade under CEPA:

  • Both sides reviewed the bilateral trade under the CEPA and discussed various matters related to its implementation.
  • They agreed to operationalize the established committees/subcommittees/technical council under the CEPA.
  • A new sub-committee on Trade in Services was created to address specific issues in this area.
  • The two sides agreed to address any hindrance to CEPA implementation or its usage by businesses on both sides.
  • Mutual Exchange of Preferential Trade Data
  • The parties agreed on mutual exchange of preferential trade data on a quarterly basis for effective monitoring of the CEPA.

Creation of UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC):

  • Both sides agreed to set up the UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC) as a B2B collaboration mechanism.
  • The UICC will focus on MSMEs and start-ups, aiming to build greater economic linkages and optimize CEPA benefits.

WTO Matters and MC13:

  • Views on WTO matters were exchanged during the meeting.
  • The 13th Ministerial Conference of the WTO (MC13) is scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, during the week of 26 February 2024.

Trade Targets and Achievements:

  • The ministers set a target of USD 100 billion in trade in non-petroleum products by 2030, up from the current USD 48 billion.
  • Bilateral trade between India and the UAE reached an all-time high of around USD 84.84 billion during FY 2022-2023, growing at around 16.5%.
  • India's exports to the UAE recorded a remarkable growth of 12%, reaching USD 31.6 billion in 2022-2023.

B2B Event and Joint Press Conference:

  • A B2B event was organized by the Department of Commerce in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • Both ministers addressed a joint press conference highlighting the achievements and successful conclusion of the 1st meeting of the Joint Committee.
  • Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal emphasized the transformative impact of the CEPA and urged businesses to forge new ties and build on the momentum.
  • E. Dr. Thani bin Zeyoudi reaffirmed the commitment of the UAE Government to strengthen bilateral relations.

Other Initiatives:

  • Other important initiatives discussed between the two sides include Virtual Trade corridors, potential set-up of offices of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in GIFT City, UPI partnership, and the development of an efficient system for direct Rupee-Dirham trade.

Importance of Economic Ties:

  • Commerce Secretary, Shri Sunil Barthwal, highlighted the significance of the economic ties between India and the UAE.
  • The B2B event was well attended by representatives from the business communities of both countries and senior officials.

About UAE

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country located in the Middle East on the Arabian Peninsula.
  • It is a federation of seven emirates, namely Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah.
  • The UAE is known for its modern infrastructure, booming economy, and cultural diversity.

Geography and Climate:

  • The UAE is situated on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
  • The country has a desert climate with hot summers and mild winters.
  • Sand dunes and vast desert landscapes are characteristic features of the UAE's geography.

Economic Development:

  • The UAE has experienced rapid economic growth, primarily driven by its petroleum and natural gas reserves.
  • In recent years, the country has diversified its economy and focused on sectors such as finance, tourism, real estate, and manufacturing.
  • Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the two largest emirates, have become major global business hubs and tourist destinations.

Infrastructure and Landmarks:

  • The UAE is renowned for its impressive infrastructure, including iconic structures like the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building located in Dubai.
  • Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi are other notable landmarks.
  • The country has well-connected airports, seaports, and a modern transportation system.

Cultural Heritage and Society:

  • The UAE's society is a blend of traditional Arab customs and modern influences.
  • Islam is the predominant religion, and Arabic is the official language.
  • Emirati hospitality, traditional music and dance (such as the Al Ayala dance), and local cuisine are integral parts of the country's cultural heritage.

Multicultural Society and Expatriate Population:

  • The UAE has a large expatriate population, contributing to its multicultural society.
  • Expatriates from various countries work and live in the UAE, bringing diverse perspectives and skills.
  • The country offers a vibrant expatriate lifestyle with a range of amenities and international communities.

Political Structure and Leadership:

  • The UAE is governed as a federation, with each emirate having its ruler.
  • The President of the UAE is elected by the Supreme Council of Rulers, which consists of the rulers of the seven emirates.
  • The ruling families play a significant role in the country's political structure.

Future Plans and Vision:

  • The UAE has ambitious plans for the future, the UAE Centennial 2071.
  • These initiatives aim to further diversify the economy, invest in innovation and technology, and create a sustainable future for the country.

India UAE Relations

  • India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) share historical and cultural ties dating back centuries.
  • Trade and cultural exchanges have been prevalent between the two regions for centuries, facilitated by geographical proximity and historical trade routes.

Indian Diaspora in the UAE:

  • The UAE is home to a large Indian diaspora, which plays a crucial role in strengthening people-to-people ties.
  • Indian expatriates in the UAE contribute to the country's economic growth and cultural diversity.
  • The UAE government has implemented various measures to protect the rights and welfare of the Indian community.

High-Level Visits and Exchanges:

  • Regular high-level visits between India and the UAE have enhanced bilateral relations.
  • These visits involve interactions between top government officials, ministers, and business delegations from both countries.
  • The exchange of visits promotes dialogue, cooperation, and collaboration across various sectors.

Strategic Cooperation and Security:

  • India and the UAE share a common interest in promoting regional stability and security.
  • Both countries have cooperated in counter-terrorism efforts, intelligence sharing, and maritime security initiatives.
  • The UAE has supported India's position on cross-border terrorism and has taken steps to curb financing of terrorism.

Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges:

  • Cultural exchanges between India and the UAE promote mutual understanding and appreciation of each other's heritage.
  • Festivals, music, dance, and art events showcase the cultural diversity of both nations.
  • Tourism between the two countries has seen significant growth, with Indian tourists visiting the UAE for leisure, business, and medical tourism.

Defense and Military Cooperation:

  • India and the UAE have strengthened defense cooperation through joint military exercises, training programs, and defense equipment purchases
  • Cooperation in the defense sector includes naval exercises, intelligence sharing, and joint efforts to combat piracy and ensure maritime security.

Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief:

  • India and the UAE have collaborated in providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief during natural disasters and emergencies.
  • The two countries have extended support to each other during times of crisis, reflecting the strong bonds of friendship and solidarity.

Major Developments in India UAE Relations

  • In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UAE and signed a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement between the two countries. This agreement covers a wide range of areas, including trade, investment, defense, security, and culture.
  • In 2016, the UAE invested $75 billion in India's infrastructure sector. In 2017, the UAE and India agreed to cooperate on renewable energy projects.
  • In 2018, the UAE and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding on defense cooperation.
  • In 2020, the UAE and India signed a Free Trade Agreement.


Q) Discuss the evolving dynamics of India-UAE relations and their implications on regional stability and bilateral cooperation in the context of changing geopolitical realities. (150 words)