This was the first event of this kind to take place since the official launch of the I2U2 group in July 2022. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The inaugural I2U2 business forum began on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, jointly organised by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.

The forum brought together senior private and public sector representatives from India, Israel, the UAE and the US (I2U2) to discuss opportunities for cooperation between the business communities of the four countries. It was the first event of this kind to take place since the official launch of the I2U2 group during the I2U2 Leaders’ Summit in July 2022.

The I2U2 partnership is a grouping focused on driving tangible economic cooperation between its members across a range of sectors, including food security, water, energy, space, transportation, health, and technology. It aims to mobilise private sector capital and expertise to, among other objectives, help modernise infrastructure, decarbonise industries, improve public heath, and promote development of green technologies.

Wednesday’s forum began with opening remarks by Ahmed Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State; Jose W. Fernandez, US Under Secretary of State; Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations) at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs; Ronen Levi, Director-General at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Brett McGurk, Deputy Assistant to the US President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa.

In their remarks, officials reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing economic cooperation under the I2U2 framework, noting the significance of direct engagement between decision-makers from I2U2 countries and private sector stakeholders interested in forming future partnerships.

Later, an official signing ceremony welcomed India as the latest country to join the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate, which was launched by the UAE and the US at COP26 and includes Israel as a partner among 140 other governmental and non-governmental entities.