Staunch Allies

James Mathew , CEO and Managing Partner, UHY James Chartered Accountants
James Mathew , CEO and Managing Partner, UHY James Chartered Accountants

Published: Mon 15 Aug 2022, 12:00 AM

James Mathew on the time-tested and strengthening relationship between the two nations

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Despite the global headwinds plaguing economies since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, India has exhibited resilience and recovery and stayed on course to become the world’s fastest growing economy. As an Indian expat in the UAE, it is surreal that my homeland and the land that has made me feel at home for almost 30 years — the UAE — are exactly 25 years away from engineering major milestones ahead. 2047 will mark India’s 100th year of independence while the UAE will usher in its 75th National Day. Both countries are among the fastest growing economies with streamlined efforts being channelised to strengthening their future-readiness.

Geo-economics Driven Diplomacy

Recently, the world witnessed the UAE and India embarked on a new partnership as they signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Bilateral trade in goods between both countries amounts to $60 billion annually, but with CEPA it is likely to surge up to $115 billion over the next five years. Besides the CEPA framework, India and the UAE have collaborated on agreements that provide a level playing field for both countries in the space of technology transfer, renewable energy, infrastructure development, combating cybercrime, food security, cultural exchange, space, and skill development.

India has embraced the route of geo-economics driven diplomacy and aims to bolster trade partnerships that will cement its stance as a global economic behemoth. This was further reinforced by India’s participation in the first virtual I2U2 Summit, which turned the spotlight on six areas of cooperation — water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security. India’s deepening ties in the Middle East and West Asia align perfectly with its long-term plans of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2026-27 and a $10 trillion economy by 2033-34.

A Global Growth Engine

India’s bold foreign policy, its relentless efforts towards driving sustainability at the macro and micro level and its focus on driving digitisation across levels positions the country on the path of becoming a global growth engine. India’s current efforts in redefining its development strategy will ensure that ‘India at 100’ is an economy built on robust macroeconomic fundamentals with tech driven initiatives where unicorns and startups flourish uninhibitedly. To this end, India will need to evaluate its industrialisation and de-carbonisation by taking necessary steps towards going digital and green. What resonates strongly today is the uncanny similarity between India and the UAE’s vision to embrace digital and smart technology and green initiatives as both countries inch towards a huge milestone — their 100th and 75th independent year respectively.

Evolving Growth Story

The post pandemic landscape has led to individuals, businesses and governments rewriting the narrative of the future. India and the UAE have adopted laws, regulations and policies that have and set them on the path of unprecedented growth and development.

With more than 3.5 million Indian expats calling the UAE their home away from home, both countries exude an undeniable synergy that accelerates investments on both sides, enhances imports and exports and drives collaboration in the realm of agritech, startup ventures and more. Backed by decades of camaraderie, India and the UAE have taken huge strides in the right direction to re-engineer the economy towards progress and prosperity. While both countries endorse different political ideologies and have radical geographical and demographic

differences, they are intrinsically connected in terms of uninhibited aspirations, economic ideologies that accommodate and celebrate entrepreneurial outlook.


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