Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, talks about the comprehensive strategic partnership enjoyed by both nations, enhanced through excellent bilateral trade
On the auspicious occasion of the 73rd Independence Day of India, I extend warm greetings and congratulations to my fellow countrymen residing in the UAE. I also take this opportunity to convey my best regards to His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for hosting a large Indian community in the UAE and for their personal interest and keenness to further expand and strengthen multi-faceted bilateral engagements with India.
India is one of the oldest civilisations but a young country. It was only on August 15, 1947 that the largest democracy in the world attained independence from colonial rule. August 15 reminds us of the sacrifices made by our forefathers and inspires us to further build on their efforts. The principles of our Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi still guide our path, as we commemorate his 150th birth anniversary, Gandhi@150 this year.
Along with India’s rising global stature, our comprehensive, strategic partnership with the UAE grows deeper.
Along with India’s rising global stature, our comprehensive strategic partnership with the UAE continues to grow deeper. The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE in 2015 gave a stimulus to the bilateral relationship, and high-level visits have happened every year thereafter, including the visit of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince to India in 2017 as Guest of Honour for the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath, New Delhi. The brotherly relationship between Shaikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Prime Minister Modi is well known and with the re-election of Prime Minister Modi, this golden era of UAE-India relationship is set to continue.
Over the years, the buyer-seller relationship between India and UAE in the energy sector has given way to a multifaceted strategic interdependence partnership. It has led to our first strategic petroleum reserve in Padur, our first oil concession in the Gulf at Lower Zakum and the agreement from Adnoc to work together with Saudi Arabia’s Aramco in our west coast mega refinery project. Assessing the ongoing momentum and the political will on both the sides, I can only say that this is just the beginning.
With an economy of $2.8 trillion (Dh10.28 trillion), India is the fastest-growing major economy of the world and is on the path to becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2022. India has continuously done well on World Bank’s East of Doing Business index and has jumped more than 50 places in the past two years to attain a rank of 77 in 2018. The UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner with total trade between the countries standing at $60 billion in 2018-19 and this figure is bound to increase with the ongoing programmes of Government of India such as Make in India, Digital India and Smart Cities. The UAE is also the highest contributor to India’s remittance kitty. Last year, these amounted to $17 billion out of a total inflow of $69 billion. This is only natural, as the UAE is home to around 3.3 million Indians, the highest concentration in any single country outside India.
This year has already been an exceptional year for India-UAE bilateral relationship. We witnessed the remarkable participation of our Minister for External Affairs as Guest of Honour at the Organisation of Islamic Countries Foreign Ministers’ meeting hosted by Abu Dhabi; we heard the announcement of the UAE’s highest civilian honour, Zayed Medal to our Prime Minister; the foundation stone of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi; India participating as Guest of Honour at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair; the launch of Gandhi-Zayed Digital Museum this year itself; the wonderful gestures on re-election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi; and on International Day of Yoga on the iconic Adnoc building reflects the true strength of our special bonds.
I am supremely confident that the mutually beneficial India-UAE relations will continue to grow from strength to strength. Once again, I would like to greet my fellow citizens in the UAE on the occasion of our 73rd Independence Day.