India and the UAE which have inked a landmark trade deal have seen a “veritable transformation” in their ties which are now beginning to have a broader ripple impact, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Monday, emphasising that they want to use this relationship to shape the changing world.
A defining decision of this transformation is the signing of the bilateral trade pact which led to such effective results and speaks volumes for the bilateral relationship, he said.
“The fact that we were able to conclude the comprehensive economic cooperation agreement so quickly and has led to such effective results thereafter, speaks really volumes for the relationship. We’re now moving into new areas,” he said while delivering the keynote address at India Global Forum and panel discussion India-UAE: Partners for Global Impact.
India and the UAE signed UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in February this year.
“Today, our discussions are about space, education, artificial intelligence, health and startups. The old, traditional energy trade investments continue, but a new agenda is also coming into being,” he said.
“…India-UAE cooperation is particularly significant. We have known each other for a long, but have rediscovered each other only in 2016. With CEPA, ties have really taken off. India-UAE cooperation is not about surviving change but shaping it positively,” Jaishankar tweeted.
The UAE is today India’s 3rd largest trade partner. It is India’s 2nd largest export market.
“More Indian citizens live in the UAE than in any other country abroad. So whether we are talking people, or whether we are talking business, the UAE has a particular salience in our perspectives,” he said during the keynote address.
“After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in 2015, a visit which took place after more than four decades, we’ve actually seen a veritable transformation in our ties. As I pointed out, certainly our trade and investment have gone up,” he said.
“If we were to speak about the return of history in this part of the world, a very natural example of that is the India-UAE relationship. There are times when we may occasionally have a different perspective. Even that is often expressed quite subtly between us,” he said.
“So when I look at the return of history and the relationships which will go forward in the coming days, I certainly would rank the India-UAE relationship very high in that,” he said.
“India and the UAE are two countries very comfortable, who’ve known each other for a long time and who want to use this relationship today in a changing world, not just to survive in a changing world, but to shape a changing world,” he said.
Jaishankar also highlighted the ability to expand this relationship with other partners as another aspect of this relationship.
The obvious example of that is France. We have just this year taken the trilateral with France to a ministerial level, and we certainly want to expand that, he said.
India and the UAE are also doing more things together, he said.
He also said that India and the UAE are together exploring the possibility of health cooperation in Africa.
He also mentioned the establishment of the I2US (India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States) mechanism which is “yet another example of how our changed relationship is now beginning to have a broader ripple impact.”
“So it is in many ways a very ambitious relationship because it’s not limited really by its bilateral possibilities. I’m very confident that as we get deeper into the relationship, it will also make itself felt at the global level,” he said.
The traditional energy-trade relations continue but a new agenda is also coming into being. To my mind, that is something that would really redefine this relationship, and help it go to a higher orbit, he said.
“Brought out the relationship between globalisation, rebalancing and multi-polarity. But underlined that more perennial competitive forces are also at work. Far from witnessing an end of history, we are seeing a return of history,” Jaishankar tweeted.
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