India, France, UAE to boost maritime ties

The three nations have exchanged perspectives on the Indo-Pacific region and explored the potential areas of trilateral cooperation, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

A trilateral meeting of the Focal Points of India, France and the United Arab Emirates was held on Thursday where three sides exchanged views on the Indo-Pacific region and explored the prospects of maritime security among other areas of cooperation.

The Indian side was led by Sandeep Chakravorty, Joint Secretary (Europe West) and Vipul, Joint Secretary (Gulf), the French side was led by Bertrand Lortholary, Director (Asia and Oceania) and Emmanuel Suquet, Deputy Director (Middle East and North Africa) of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and the Emirati side was led by Ahmed Burhaima, Deputy Director of the Economic and Trade Affairs Department of the UAE Foreign Ministry.

 The three sides exchanged perspectives on the Indo-Pacific region and explored the potential areas of trilateral cooperation including Maritime Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Blue Economy, Regional Connectivity, Cooperation in Multilateral Fora, Energy and Food Security, Innovation and Startups, Supply Chain Resilience and Cultural and People-to-People Cooperation.

They also discussed the next steps to be taken for furthering trilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

India and France are maritime nations with dynamic maritime economy sectors like marine technology and scientific research, fisheries, port and shipping, to name a few. Possessing vast exclusive economic zones, their fate is closely linked to the sea and the ocean.

Both nations intend to make the blue economy a driver of the progress of their respective societies while respecting the environment and coastal and marine biodiversity. Both countries aim to contribute to scientific knowledge and ocean conservation and ensure that the ocean remains a global common, a space of freedom and trade, based on the rule of law.

India and France have traditionally close and friendly relations. In 1998, the two countries entered into a Strategic Partnership which is emblematic of their convergence of views on a range of international issues apart from a close and growing bilateral relationship.

India and UAE enjoy strong bonds of friendship based on age-old cultural, religious and economic ties between the two nations. They established diplomatic relations in 1972. While the UAE opened its Embassy in India in 1972, Indian Embassy in UAE was opened in 1973.

The traditionally strong bilateral relations enjoyed by India & UAE have received impetus with regular exchange of high-level bilateral visits from time to time. The momentum generated by visits at the highest level was sustained by back to back reciprocal visits at the level of Foreign Ministers too.

Maritime collaboration with Egypt

The UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure held a meeting with Egypt’s Ministry of Transport on the sidelines of its participation in the General Assembly of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, which was attended by around 20 Arab States.

The two sides discussed proposed development projects and plans that will benefit the maritime economy and enhance investment opportunities in several vital areas, including developing ports and logistics services through scientific research and artificial intelligence (AI). They also discussed key plans to enhance the global position of Egypt and the UAE and consolidate their competitiveness in the maritime sector.

“The UAE’s Blue Economy Strategy is based on several pillars, including innovation, creativity, research and development, as well as an effective system of links with academic institutions, universities and research centres that can keep pace with the scientific and technological developments, adapt them to local needs,” said Hassan Mohamed Juma Al Mansouri, Under-Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.

The UAE has over 20 leading seaports and some of the largest oil export terminals in the world. It ranks 3rd in the Bunker Supply Index and is home to the headquarters of Abu Dhabi Ports Group, the developer of Maqta Gateway, which is the UAE’s first digital port community powered by blockchain. The UAE is also home to DP World, a leading smart trade enabler, that has launched several innovative solutions that have revolutionised the global supply chain. These solutions include Dubai Trade, a one-stop shop for cross-border trade, and SeaRates, which provides instant and live rates for container shipping.

Admiral Reda Ahmed Ismail, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Head of the Maritime Transport Sector emphasised that Egypt has a 3,000-kilometre-long coastline along the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea, containing huge wealth of fish, petroleum and gas as well as several coastal cities.

He noted that the Egyptian Government is investing heavily to develop the blue economy and enhance its contribution to the country’s GDP. He commended the development in the UAE’s maritime sector, pointing out that the UAE has become a leading maritime hub, and that the integration between the maritime sectors in Egypt and the UAE would enhance the region’s competitiveness globally.

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