Abdul Bari Masoud | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — The ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to India, Dr. Ahmed Albanna, has said bilateral relations between the two nations have been transformed into a strong strategic partnership in recent years. “There are no challenging issues” between the two, he stressed.
Dr Albanna told Caravan Daily on the sidelines of a felicitation function got up in his honour here on Monday that a better understanding of each other’s position was integral to the deepening and expanding mutual trust and ties between the people, government, and business community of the UAE and India.
To a question, he said the UAE’s economic, political and cultural links with India, which dated back to a century and more, were mature and multi-dimensional. “The strong bonds between the two can be gauged from the fact that Indians formed the largest expatriate community in the UAE, forming about two million,” he said and added that the bilateral relations would be further diversified and strengthened in the months and years ahead.
Specially mentioning the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE in August 2015 – in fact, Modi made three visits to the UAE as PM so far — the envoy said this marked the beginning of a new and comprehensive as also strategic partnership between the two sides. In addition to this, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s state visit to India in February 2016 also gave a new fillip to bilateral relations, he said.
During this visit, both the countries signed MoUs and agreements in new areas of interest including facilitation of institutional investors in infrastructure, cooperation in renewable energy, Space, skill development, and currency swaps.
Bilateral relations between India and the UAE have been receiving impetus from time-to-time with exchange of high-level visits from both sides. Both the nations agreed to work together not only to consolidate achievements in the existing domains but also explore newer areas of cooperation, the envoy said.
Any challenging issue that remains to be resolved? “There are no such issues between the two countries. Rather, the bilateral relations are progressing well.”
On bilateral trade, the envoy noted that the trading links between both the nations are age-old. The total trade between India and the UAE stood at $50billion in 2017, with exports from India to the UAE amounting to $28billion and India’s imports from the UAE totalling $22 billion. The UAE is the tenth biggest investor in India in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI), with total investments of approximately $5.33 billion.
“Bilateral trade has been steadily growing over the years and people-to-people contacts are also on the increase, he pointed out.
Notably, the major reason for the strong Indo-UAE economic ties is the presence there of the huge expatriate Indian population. They comprise more than 30 per cent of the UAE’s population, which enormously contributed to the Indian economy through remittances.
Ambassador Albanna was honoured by the Indo-Middle East Cultural Forum for the exemplary services he rendered during his present tenure, a period that saw a new fillip to the relationship between the two nations.