Ties that bind UAE and India
The two countries will do well to cooperate and find common ground against terrorism and the spread of extremist ideology.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the UAE on August 16 shows the importance the two countries accord to their special relationship that has stood the test of time. Yes, it's taken a long time coming - 34 years to be precise - but it's been worth the wait to put the ties on a new level. The world has changed, boundaries have been redrawn, there's more connectivity; technology has galloped and trade has boomed. So what's special about this partnership that has gone beyond business? It's the Emirati people and the system of governance in this country. Indian citizens have made their mark and money here. The UAE has remained a safe haven as the world crumbled around it.
The fact that the prime minister is only visiting the UAE shows the vast human investment that is being put into the relationship. There's immense potential in ties and new areas of partnership will be the focus of discussions between leaders of the two countries.
Trade, which was pegged at $180 million annually in the 1970s, today stands at $60 billion. This makes the UAE India's third largest trading partner after China and the US. Indian exports to the UAE touched $30 billion, making it the second largest destination for the country. The UAE is also the fourth largest supplier of crude to India.
The UAE can expect commitments on its investments in India during the visit, one of the stumbling blocks to past agreements. India, on the other hand, will seek more UAE assistance in infrastructure projects. Prime Minister Modi's pet 'Make in India' push is also expected to get a boost. India received $19.78 billion foreign direct investment from 12 countries visited by Modi recently. That figure will rise manifold with this visit.
The two countries will do well to cooperate and find common ground against terrorism and the spread of extremist ideology. A defence-security pact is needed in these times of strife across the world.