English translation of Opening Remarks by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the India-UAE Virtual Summit

February 18, 2022

Your Highness, My Brother,

A warm welcome to today's virtual summit. First of all, I want to congratulate you and the U.A.E. Despite the challenges of Covid, the organization of Expo 2020 was very spectacular. Unfortunately, I couldn't visit U.A.E. to attend the Expo, and it’s been long since we have had face-to-face meeting. But today's virtual summit shows that despite all the challenges, our friendly relations continue to reach new heights.

Your Highness,

Your personal role in strengthening our relationship has been extremely important. I will always be grateful to you for the way you have taken care of the Indian community of the U.A.E. even during the Covid pandemic. We strongly condemn the recent terrorist attacks in the U.A.E. India and the U.A.E. will always stand together against terrorism.

Your Highness,

This year holds special significance for both our countries. You are celebrating the 50th birth anniversary of the founding of the U.A.E. And you've also set the vision of the next 50 years of the U.A.E. We are celebrating 75 years of our independence this year. And we have set ambitious goals for the next 25 years. The future vision of the two countries has a lot in common.

Your Highness,

I am very happy that both our countries are signing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement today. It is noteworthy that we were able to conclude negotiations on such an important agreement in less than three months. Normally it takes years for this type of agreement. This agreement reflects the deep friendship, shared vision and trust between the two countries. I am sure this will usher in a new era in our economic relations. And our trade will grow from $60 billion to $100 billion in the next five years.

Your Highness,

Trade, investment, energy and people-to-people contacts have been the pillars of our cooperation. At the same time, there are possibilities of increasing our cooperation in many new areas as well. The new MOU on Food Corridors between us is a very good initiative. We welcome U.A.E.'s investment in food processing and logistics sectors. This will make India a trusted partner for the food security of the U.A.E.

India has made unprecedented progress in the field of start-ups. Last year, 44 unicorns have emerged in India. We can encourage start-ups in both countries through joint-incubation and joint-financing. Similarly, for the skill development of our people, we can also collaborate on modern Institutions of Excellence.

After the successful U.A.E. visit of the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir last month, several Emirate companies have shown interest in investing in Jammu and Kashmir. We welcome investment by U.A.E. in all sectors including logistics, healthcare, hospitality in Jammu and Kashmir. And will provide all kinds of facilities to your companies.

Your Highness,

Next year, India will host the G-20 summit, and the UAE, COP-28. The issue of climate is becoming increasingly important on the global stage. We can increase mutual cooperation in shaping this agenda. Both our countries also have a positive attitude towards working with like-minded partners. I am confident that "India-U.A.E.-Israel-USA", this grouping will advance our collective goals, especially in the areas of technology, innovation and finance.

Your Highness,

Once again thank you very much from my heart for successfully organizing this virtual summit.

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of Prime Minister’s remarks. Original remarks were delivered in Hindi.


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