2023: India-UAE ties transcend to multilateral level

Update: 2023-12-30 16:11 GMT

Dubai: The already strong India-UAE ties transcended to a truly multilateral level in 2023 with the announcement of the strategically important India-Middle East Economic Corridor and the expansion of the BRICS grouping to include the key Gulf nation.

The bilateral ties have witnessed qualitative and quantitative progress with Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving top priority to enhance India’s relations with the UAE and its top leadership.

The BRICS summit in August, during which the UAE joined the group, and the announcement of the India-Middle East Economic Corridor (IMEEC) in New Delhi during the G20 summit in September were the highlights of the level of cooperation.

The new member nations will become part of BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) with effect from January 1, 2024. The inclusion represents a strategic step for the UAE and consolidates its global economic and diplomatic engagements.

The proposed IMEEC will comprise an eastern corridor connecting India to the Gulf region and a northern corridor connecting the Gulf region to Europe.

India will be linked to Europe by a railway line and existing ports through UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel.

Throughout 2023, the India-UAE relationship saw significant advancements, especially in trade, defence, and multilateral cooperation.

The India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), implemented on May 1, 2022, significantly impacted bilateral trade.

In the fiscal year 2022-23, trade between the two countries reached a historic high of around $84.5 billion, marking a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent. Indian exports to the UAE also recorded remarkable growth, reaching $31.6 billion, a 12 per cent increase from the previous year.

The agreement eliminated duties on many tariff lines and covered many sectors, benefiting industries like oil seeds, beverages, textiles, and pharmaceuticals.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE in July 2023 marked his fifth visit to the country since being elected.

The visit included wide-ranging talks on bilateral relations, shared interests in promoting global growth, and further collaboration in various fields.

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