IndiaPrime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a two-day official visit to the UAE tomorrow and will attend the World Government Summit. Apart from deepening strategic relations between the two countries, they will also counter China’s influence in the Middle East.
India has close relations with the United Arab Emirates. This will be Modi’s seventh visit to the UAE since 2015 and the third in the last eight months.
The Indian External Affairs Ministry held a pre-departure briefing today and said Modi would meet UAE Premier Mohammed. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan held a bilateral meeting to discuss further deepening and expanding strategic relations between the two countries and exchange views on regional and international issues.
Modi will also meet the Deputy Head of State, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of UAEDepartment of DefenseChief Muhammad. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and will attend the 2024 World Government Summit.
Besides, Modi, who is a devout Hindu, will also inaugurate the first full-stone Hindu temple in the Middle East in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi and meet the local expatriate.
India and the United Arab Emirates upgraded their bilateral relations to the level of “comprehensive strategic partnership” in August 2015. Both countries signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in February 2022. In July last year, they agreed to set up a local currency settlement mechanism to promote bilateral trade.
According to information received from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, the bilateral trade volume between the two countries in the financial year 2022-2023 (April 2022-March 2023) is US $ 85 billion. The UAE is also India’s fourth largest foreign direct trader during the same period.investSources, amount US$3.35 billion.
There are currently around 35 lakh Indians living or working in the UAE, engaged in industries such as construction, retail, finance, healthcare, manufacturing and transportation.
Observers believe that China has in recent years actively developed relations with countries in West Asia and the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. India and the United Arab Emirates are separated only by a sea. It is necessary to counter China’s influence, Modi can do this. The personal relationship between the UAE royal family further strengthens ties between New Delhi and Abu Dhabi.
For Abu Dhabi, the UAE also needs to maintain a balance between East and West. India has good relations with the Western camp and can assist if needed.