Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy says the deep relationship between the two countries will help unlock further potential. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, UAE’s Minister of State for International Cooperation, on Wednesday attributed the strength of UAE-India relations to the consistency of people-to-people ties.

She expressed confidence that with this strong bond as its foundation, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPA) agreement is bound to take the bilateral partnership to even greater heights.

“It’s hard to put your finger on what is it that makes the relationship special. I think it’s a combination of factors across centuries, and I do believe that the consistency of our people-to-people relationship has really made all the difference. It is familiar to be in India, it is familiar for Indians to be here in the UAE. And there is a synergy between how we view the world and also what we hope for the world and for ourselves. And I’m confident that as we continue to grow this relationship, we are going to unfold and unlock so much more than what we already have.”

Pointing out that bilateral trade has picked up by over 30 per cent in just eight or nine months since the CEPA was signed, Al Hashimy said the agreement shines a spotlight on all sectors that the two countries traditionally didn’t cooperate on.

“We traditionally didn’t go to sectors such as telemedicine, science and technology, agricultural technology, and culture and arts that highlight what more can be done. I go back to how it started, which is the people-to-people connection, the stronger that corridor is… the more powerful I think the agreement would be because anything on paper doesn’t really live as strongly than if it lived in interactions and experiences between people,” she said.