India UAE relations took a major boost with the recent visit of the crown prince of United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan as the chief guest on India’s Republic Day.
India UAE | Indian Diaspora
According to the latest figures the remittances which the Indian Diaspora in UAE send back to India is around $13.6 billion which helps India to tackle its Current Account Deficit. Indian Diaspora is the important representatives of India and they act as a strong and binding factor between the two countries (India UAE). There are about 2.6 million Indian Diaspora in UAE which accounts for 12% of the total Diaspora. They are making huge contribution towards economic prosperity, stability and success of UAE.
India UAE Bilateral Relations
- UAE is a very important area and strategically very significant. The rapid exchange of visits, conversations and dialogue between the top leaders of India UAE is a welcome development.
- Through this building of relationship, the Bilateral relationship is now upgraded to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and even few defence MOUs were signed during this visit. Maritime cooperation was mentioned as one of the potential areas of cooperation between India UAE.
- UAE has been identified by India as a key partner in the very volatile region and an important region because of India’s energy imports and large segment of India’s Diaspora lives there. So India is trying to expand and enhance its partnership and defence ties.
- UAE’s state owned ADNOC company has agreed to store crude oil in India’s maiden strategic storage and will give 2/3rd of its oil for free to India.
- India is a large country, large economy and a large market. With the international economy going down over the last few years all these countries are looking for big markets and also big destination for their energy exports and India is an excellent candidate in this regard.
- Security has not been a significant aspect of our relationship so far with countries in the West Asian region. The countries in have also started feeling anxious because of the rise and expansion of Islamic State. Therefore, India is developing security and defence ties with UAE.
- Both countries held bilateral exercises between Indian Air Force (IAF) and United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAE AF) called Desert Eagle II.
- During the Republic day parade an armed forces contingent of around 200 soldiers from the UAE took part in the parade. This is a new trend which started last year when the French President was here. This is display of India’s generosity of welcoming our chief guest and is part of India’s soft power. They act as a bonding between the services of the two countries and send a positive message to people. They are an important element in strengthening and expanding our partnership with these countries.
- There is huge sovereign wealth fund in UAE of more than $800 billion. India needs $1.5 trillion of investment over the next 5 years to improve our infrastructure. We could tap this potential through the already signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to mobilise up to $75 billion long-term investment in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). But there seems to be little progress on it due to technical issues about the NIIF.
Pakistan and the n region
- Historically UAE was regarded as an ally of Pakistan, now UAE is making overtures and gestures indicating its willingness to leave that traditional spot and develop closer ties with India.
- For UAE terrorism is a challenge that they need to confront with and for that they find India to be an effective partner.
India should not weigh its relationship with West Asia only in terms of their stance on Pakistan and Kashmir. When it comes to Kashmir issue we find that India usually does not get the support it would be looking at from West Asian nations because of the Islamic bondage they have with Pakistan. It is difficult to change the view point at the multilateral level in the organisations like Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). On a bilateral level we can expect a greater support for the Indian position on Kashmir issue. This growing relationship with West Asia may reap huge dividends for India in both geo-economic and geostrategic terms.