Dynamic Alliances - Boosting Bilateral Ties from Great to Greater

Since Prime Minister Modi assumed office in 2014, India’s foreign policy outreach has witnessed a distinctive change in approach, priority and focus. The UAE has also been finessing its foreign policy engagements internationally and regionally. Despite ties between the two nations dating back centuries, India and the UAE are carving out fresh, engagements in the economy, defence, security, and law enforcement cooperation. The UAE lies at the core of India’s assertive ‘Extended Neighbourhood Policy’ and the platform for a robust, sustainable alliance based on a shared economic vision and compatible regional geopolitical outlook has been formed. How do we take ties from great to greater?

Trade - Trusted Partners in a Competitive World: Taking Trade Ties to the Next Level

Despite the pandemic, India and the UAE have enjoyed robust trade ties. The UAE is India’s third largest trading partner. For the UAE, India is the second largest trading partner. Have these ties been stretched to their maximum, or is the best yet to come? Key personalities across various sectors in the UAE-India corridor assess if and how ties can be further expanded.

Retail – UAE as a Springboard for Global Expansion

The UAE is renowned as a key hub for global retail and e-commerce. Retail sales in the UAE are expected to grow by 13% to reach $58 billion by the end of 2021. This attractive position, plus geographic proximity and the large Indian diaspora makes the UAE a key market of choice for Indian and global businesses looking to expand. According to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), Dubai is the preferred market for Indian retailers as the emirate’s economy adapts at speed to new market conditions. Here we explore the post-pandemic future of retail and global implications for the industry with Dubai at its epicentre.

Real Estate – The UAE as India’s Home Away from Home
Financial Services – Turbo-charging the Post-Pandemic Recovery

The Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region is embracing a transformation amidst strong economic and demographic growth. The UAE provides banking, commercial banking, trade and export finance, project and infrastructure funding, treasury services and correspondent banking facilities. How can Indian businesses best benefit from the UAE’s vast capital as they look to rebound in strength from the pandemic downturn? What are the wins, challenges and pitfalls for the sector?

Financial Services - Turbo-charging the Post-Pandemic Recovery

The Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region is embracing a transformation amidst strong economic and demographic growth. Dubai sits at the heart of it all, providing banking, commercial banking, trade and export finance, project and infrastructure funding, treasury services and correspondent banking. How can Indian businesses best benefit from Dubai’s vast capital as they look to rebound in strength from the pandemic downturn? What are the wins, challenges and pitfalls for the sector?

FDI – Fuelling Mutual Ambitions for Growth

With bilateral ties between the UAE and India growing rapidly, the mutual investments into each other’s economies reflects the intent shown by the India-UAE High Level Joint Task Force on Investments. Both governments harbour an ambitious vision for their people and younger generations who need investment to thrive! From technology, infrastructure, real-estate, food security, healthcare and sustainability the list of mutual opportunities is vast and varied. We look at how to take FDI to the next level...

Logistics & Supply Chains – Optimising Doing Business in the Post-Pandemic Era

The pandemic has highlighted the need for slick and smooth supply chains that can withstand unexpected pressures. Historically, the UAE has held a strategic position as a gateway to the Middle East and North Africa. In more contemporary times, Indian conglomerates are making it a base for their expansion plans and vice versa. This has led to a greater need than ever for improved ease of doing business and increased people-to-people contact. We ask how quickly things can be optimised again in the post-pandemic era.

Tourism & Aviation – Will it be Back to Business as Usual?

The UAE’s brand equity as one of the world’s top tourism destinations is second to none. One of the cornerstones of the UAE’s economy, tourism caters to the wide-ranging interests of global visitors. India is a top source market across all price categories – with in excess of 1,000 flights operating every week, pre-pandemic, between the UAE and India alone. With the removal of travel curbs, are the two countries are poised to witness a surge in passenger and cargo volumes once again?

Energy – Partnering in Transition to a Greener Future

From hydrocarbons to hydrogen, the India-UAE energy partnership is being scaled up continuously. Even though oil remains a principal commodity for India, what further areas are being explored between the two countries and how can we sustainably fuel the infrastructure needs of our joint economic growth?

Tech - Harnessing the Tech Revolution to Empower our Citizens

A $20 billion MoU has demonstrated the seriousness of the UAI-India partnership in the field of AI. Investments in the Knowledge Economy, tech start-ups, coupled with Big Data, virology and epidemiology are also pushing the cooperation to greater heights. We ask what more can be done to utilise the strengths of both countries in this critical area.

Defence & Security – Strengthening Ties in a Competitive Era

The Annual Defence Dialogue has served as a valuable vehicle for boosting defence as an area of strategic cooperation between India-UAE and the GCC region. Visits by high level defence officials from both nations including bilateral air and naval exercises have also boosted India-UAE security preparedness at a time of strategic competition and uncertainty in the Indo-Pacific. We ask how ties can be further strengthened for the benefit of both countries.

Education – Equipping our Citizens for Economies of the Future

The UAE is one of the leading education markets in the region and remains a draw for investors, education providers and students. Private equity firms internationally and from India are growing their education portfolios within the country. With the UAE emerging as a destination of choice for overseas aspirants, an increasing number of higher education institutions (HEI’s) have set up campuses to meet the demand-supply gap. This dovetails into both India’s National Education Policy and the UAE’s Vision 2021 which both have future knowledge-based economies, requiring education in innovation, research, science and technology at their heart.

Trilateral Ties with Israel – New Alliances for Collective Benefits

The signing of the Abraham Accord between the UAE and Israel has introduced a historic new era of peace, mutual understanding and collaboration across economic and geo-political verticals in the Middle East. Adding heft to the new trilateral alliance has been India, an enduring ally for both countries. The newfound bond between the UAE and Israel paves the way for meaningful cooperation in several areas of mutual interest for all three nations, throwing up vast potential in trade, commerce and security where different approaches and competitive strengths can result in collective benefits.

Global Economy - Revitalising Growth in the Post-Pandemic Era

The pandemic has forced nations to make radical economic choices to keep their economies afloat in a global health crisis that is still only just beginning to subside. The challenges and choices are intimidating as nations are forced to consider debts and unemployment amidst an ongoing healthcare risk. What are the next steps as the global economy seeks to sustainably bounce back from this terrible setback?

Climate Change - Last Chance to Act

IGF assesses the outcome of COP26 in Glasgow, asking whether we are now finally on track to limit global warming to the UN target of well below 2C compared to pre-industrial levels. If we fail again this year, we are surely on the path to irreversible damage.

Pandemic Preparedness - Global Collaboration to Prevent Future Crises

One lesson from the pandemic was how poorly prepared the world was for something that had been predicted for decades. As we continue to face the risk of new deadly strains of coronavirus or entirely new diseases altogether, have we now learnt our lesson? How much better might early warning signals be, as well as the response time in terms of vaccine production if lightning were to strike twice?

Global Food Security - Accelerating Innovation to Outpace Shortages

Conflict, climate change, the pandemic, and population growth are widening the vulnerability of global food systems. Are we heading for a so called ‘Malthusian Catastrophe’ where need suddenly far exceeds production? Or can we find the innovative solutions required to keep this danger in check?

Defence & Security - Adapting to New Challenges in a Competitive Era

We live in a competitive age. A renewed China, unpredictable Russia and instability in the Middle East make these fascinating and challenging times. Meanwhile, new spheres of competition in space and cyberspace are providing the terrain for future arms races and a move away more conventional, and perhaps more predictable means of conflict. We ask how we can navigate these troubled waters safely, upgrading existing defence capabilities whilst dialling down the risk of future disputes.

Tech - Ensuring the Digital Revolution Helps the Many (and the Few!)

It is being viewed as the Fourth Industrial Revolution born out of a global crisis. Dependency on tech is fashioning our economic, professional, cultural and social choices. This also applies to governance. Innovation, agility and adaptability is the new norm with tech shaping all our decisions. But how can we ensure that the benefits of this revolution are evenly spread in a way that has not happened in the past?

Education & Skills – What Does the Next Gen Need to Thrive?

From a time where university was the holy grail for a better career, past assumptions are being challenged. What is the value of a degree or a masters if it does not provide the skills needed for work? Are more directly relevant apprenticeships now the way forward? And how do curriculums both at school and into higher education need to change in order to provide human capital for the digital economies of now, and of tomorrow?

India-UAE-Africa Trilateral Forum

The importance of Africa’s successful growth and continuing emergence on the world stage will be pivotal in tackling numerous global challenges, from climate, to food security and boosting the global economy. With both the UAE & India enjoying important strategic partnerships with the continent, we look here at how better co-ordination might be achieved for beneficial strategic outcomes.