Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2024: Modi-MBZ Roadshow Showcases India-UAE Synergy
The Vibrant Gujarat and the Modi-MBZ roadshow have been in the headlines since last week across several countries in the world. Let me explain everything about these events and the context of India-UAE relations, in today’s story.
Vibrant Gujarat is a biennial summit initiated by Prime Minister Modi in 2003 when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. This summit is a platform for global business leaders and governments to come together, fostering investment opportunities in India.
Gujarat stands out with its investment-friendly environment with emerging economic hubs and tourist locations, like the GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tech City) and various renewable energy projects.
Modi-MBZ Roadshow: Symbolizing India-UAE Strong Ties
The Modi-MBZ roadshow, set for January 9, 2024, is a display of the strong ties between India and the UAE. This event, featuring a public procession with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE President MBZ (Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan) in Ahmedabad, symbolizes the deepening relationship between the two countries.
Under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, India’s relationship with the UAE has transformed significantly. Previously, the interaction was mostly limited to a buyer-seller dynamic, primarily involving India buying energy and petroleum products from the UAE.
However, it has now evolved into a robust and multi-faceted partnership. This shift is evident in the increased frequency of high-level visits, strategic dialogues, and the expansion of bilateral cooperation beyond just trade, encompassing areas like defense, security, and culture.
Key MoUs Strengthening India-UAE Economic Relations
The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed in February 2022 is a landmark achievement in this relationship. CEPA aims to reduce trade barriers and increase business between the two nations.
Since its implementation, there has been a noticeable increase in bilateral trade. Moreover, multiple Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed, covering areas such as renewable energy, healthcare, and the construction of food parks.
These agreements are not just about increasing trade figures but also about diversifying and deepening economic ties.
Here are some notable MoUs signed between 2 countries:
- MoUs Signed During Gujarat CM Modi’s Visit to UAE (December 2021)
- MoUs Signed During PM Modi’s Visit to UAE (2022)
- MoU for Use of Local Currencies for Transactions (July 2023)
- MoU on Payment and Messaging Systems (July 2023)
- MoU for the Establishment of IIT-Delhi in Abu Dhabi (July 2023)
Cultural Exchange & Deepening Diplomatic Ties
Prime Minister Modi was the first Indian PM to visit the UAE in 35 years when he traveled there in 2015. Since then, he has made several visits, underscoring the importance India places on its relationship with the UAE.
The UAE President MBZ has also visited India thrice. In 2016 & 2017, he was invited as a chief guest on Republic Day. He also visited during the G20 Summit, hosted by India.
The upcoming inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi in February, where Modi and MBZ are expected to meet again. It’s a testament to the growing cultural exchange between the two countries.
Current Trade Figures of India-UAE Partnership
The bilateral relations between India and the UAE have reached new heights. Trade between the two countries rose to $85 billion in 2022, making the UAE India’s third-largest trading partner for 2022-23. The UAE is also India’s second-largest trading partner.
The CEPA has resulted in a 15% increase in India-UAE bilateral trade. The UAE’s participation in the Vibrant Gujarat summit since 2016 and its investments of $2.07 billion in Gujarat further illustrate the depth of this relationship.
In financial terms, Gujarat exported goods worth $7.7 billion to the UAE in FY 2022. These figures not only signify a strong economic partnership but also reflect a broader strategic alignment in various spheres, marking a new era in India-UAE relations.