India and UAE Finalize Agreements in Food Processing and Renewable Energy

  • 11 Jan 2024

On 10th January, 2024, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) solidified their cooperation within the I2U2 grouping by concluding four agreements, covering sectors such as food processing and renewable energy.

Key Points

  • Special Gesture in Ahmedabad: Prime Minister personally received President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Ahmedabad airport, hosting a roadshow, a first for a leader from a West Asian country in Gujarat.
  • Four Memorandums of Understanding: The leaders finalized four MoUs, including cooperation in renewable energy investment, food processing development, investment cooperation for innovative healthcare projects, and the development of green and sustainable ports by DP World and the Gujarat government.
  • Alignment with I2U2 Plans: The MoUs in renewable energy and food processing align with the I2U2 grouping's plans to develop projects in these sectors in Gujarat.
  • The I2U2 had previously announced a $2 billion investment by the UAE in integrated food parks and a hybrid renewable energy project in Gujarat.
  • Rapid Transforming India-UAE Partnership: This marked the fourth meeting between Indian Prime Minister and UAE President in less than seven months. They expressed their commitment to a shared and prosperous future, acknowledging the rapidly transforming India-UAE partnership.
  • Focus on Strengthening Ties with West Asia: The Indian government aims to enhance ties with key regions in West Asia, considering it an extended neighborhood that provides a significant portion of energy supplies and is home to a substantial Indian expatriate population.

I2U2 Overview

  • Formation and Partners: The I2U2 Group, also known as the West Asian Quad, is a strategic partnership involving India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Formed after the Abraham Accords, it aims to enhance cooperation in various sectors.


  • Global Partnerships: Reinvigorate and establish American partnerships globally.
  • Collaboration Focus: Enhance collaboration in areas like food security, maritime cooperation, and biotechnology.
  • Economic Relations: Promote deeper economic and trade relations, leveraging technological expertise.

Origins and Evolution of I2U2

  • Abraham Accords: Established in 2021 after the Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE.
  • First Virtual Summit: The first virtual summit scheduled for July 2022 as part of I2U2 initiatives.

Factors Leading to Formation

  • Abraham Accords: Formal ties established in 2020 between Israel, UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco.
  • Countering Turkey and China: Addressing Turkey's assertiveness and countering China's influence in the region.
  • Economic Focus: Contrasting the Indo-Pacific Quad, the West Asia Quad emphasizes economic cooperation.

Areas of Operation

  • Economic Cooperation: Joint investments in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security.
  • Clean Energy: Mobilizing private sector capital for low-carbon development.
  • Connectivity and Waste Management: Advancing physical connectivity and finding joint solutions for waste management.
  • Startup Ecosystem: Connecting startups to I2U2 investments.
  • Security and Defense Cooperation: Including climate diplomacy and participation in AIM for Climate.

Significance for India

  • Dehyphenation of Foreign Policy: Deepening engagement with Israel without jeopardizing ties with the UAE and other Arab states.
  • Global Leadership: Emerging as a global leader in climate cooperation, clean energy, and waste management.
  • Market Benefits: Capturing market opportunities for Indian goods in the partner countries.
  • Strategic Autonomy: Maintaining strategic autonomy while being part of SCO, Quad, and I2U2 simultaneously.
  • Investments: Announcement of USD 2 billion investment by the UAE in India for developing Food Parks.
  • Diaspora Impact: Positive impact on remittances and enhanced cooperation with the Indian diaspora.
  • Flexibility in the Region: Providing flexibility for India to engage freely with Israel and Gulf partners.
  • Shift in Diplomacy: Strengthening India's regional foreign policy strategy towards West Asia.