Bridging Nations | India UAE-friendship takes flight

New Delhi, Jan 9: Amid deepening ties between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan with a grand welcome at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport on Tuesday evening.

This grand gesture set the stage for a long 3 km roadshow from the airport to Indira Bridge, showcasing the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two nations.

The roadshow, characterised by elaborate security and cultural displays, was more than a ceremonial event.

PM Modi met the UAE President on December 1 last year on the sidelines of the COP-28 Summit and invited him to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

Tuesday’s roadshow was a prelude to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS), scheduled to be inaugurated by PM Modi at the Mahatma Mandir Convention Centre in Gandhinagar.

This summit is a cornerstone event, underlining the comprehensive partnership that India and the UAE have cultivated across social, political, economic, and trade frontiers.

This collaboration is reflected in the significant growth of bilateral trade, which soared from US$ 72.9 billion in 2021-2022 to US$ 84.5 billion in 2022-2023, marking a 16 percent year-on-year increase.

The India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has further accelerated this growth, especially in non-oil trade, underlining the economic synergy between the two countries.

The Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024, themed ‘Gateway to the Future’, not only highlights Gujarat’s role as a global business hub but also emphasises the strategic relationship between India and the UAE.

The summit will see participation from global leaders, including Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and will feature interactions with top CEOs and business leaders, symbolizing the dynamic economic engagements of the two countries.

Moreover, the summit coincides with the ‘Global Trade Show’ in Gandhinagar, a massive exposition covering 2 lakh sq meters, showcasing various sectors such as green energy, fintech, and more.

With over 100 countries participating, this event epitomizes India’s role as a global trade anchor.

The focus on technology and innovation will be evident at the TechEd Pavilion, dedicated to IT and ITES startups, highlighting the burgeoning tech landscape in India and the potential for UAE collaboration in this sphere.

The warm reception of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan by PM Modi, coupled with the vibrancy of the summit, reflects a shared vision for future cooperation.

This partnership, resting on the ‘3E’ pillars of Energy, Economy, and Expatriates, is a testament to the strong cultural and social bonds between the two nations, with the Indian expatriate community forming a significant part of the UAE’s social fabric.

As India and the UAE continue to engage in high-level diplomatic and economic dialogues, the breadth of their collaboration extends beyond mere politics and trade.

It encompasses deeper cultural and social connections, signifying a commitment to mutual growth and prosperity.

This evolving partnership between India and the UAE is set to unlock new horizons, promising even closer collaboration in the years to come.

PM Modi, who is on a visit to his home state to participate in the Vibrant Gujarat Summit and related programmes, received the UAE President at the airport here before the roadshow.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra, and senior officials were present at the airport to welcome the UAE President.

The UAE President was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour upon his arrival.

People in large numbers welcomed PM Modi and the UAE President in Ahmedabad.

Apart from the UAE President other leaders including Timor Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta will attend the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

The Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit was started in 2003 under the leadership of Modi when he was the state chief minister.

The 10th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit is being held from 10 to 12 January 2024 in Gandhinagar.

The 10th edition of the summit will celebrate ‘20 Years of Vibrant Gujarat as the Summit of Success’.

There are 34 Partner countries and 16 Partner organisations for this year’s summit.

The Ministry of Development of the North-Eastern Region will also utilise the Vibrant Gujarat platform to showcase investment opportunities in the North-Eastern regions.


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