UAE and India offer much to each other
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, begins his historic three-day visit to India today. It is historic because this will take our time-tested relations to the next level, with the first “strategic dialogue” having been completed last week. It is historic also because of the occasion of the visit: Sheikh Mohammed will be the guest of honour at Republic Day celebrations, an honour accorded only to leaders and their countries that India deems important on the world stage.
Some of the reasons for our strong bonds are well understood. The UAE enables millions of Indians to build their future. Many of them come here to work. But just as importantly, the UAE is also a place for Indian capital to grow through opportunities to be found in our cities and towns, and in a way that only a broader geography can offer: the UAE is India’s gateway to West Asia. It is therefore no surprise that an estimated 60,000 Indian companies operate here. By doing so, the Indian diaspora – whether more conventionally understood as people or as capital – help us to meet our ambition to be a lively commercial hub.
Any successful relationship is a two-way street, of course. India’s economy is growing rapidly. It, in turn, requires investment of a nature that may not be available locally. We in the UAE can offer funding and expertise in areas such as transport links and other forms of infrastructure. Also, we can marry our ample capital to India’s well-acknowledged store of high technology know-how. In these and so many other ways, we both profit.
Finally, the world today is a much changed one from the time of India’s independence in 1947, or even our own union in 1971. The challenges we face are best lessened by the cooperation we extend each other in diverse fields, ranging from security to economics – as shown in the recent talks.
All of this – a partnership and friendship borne by history, our mutual stake in prosperity – is sustained by the bold vision of leaders in both our countries. Sheikh Mohammed’s visit today underscores the wisdom of our relations. And in that, we wish India a happy Republic Day on Thursday.