Nation Current Affairs 15 Jul 2022 UAE to invest $2 bn ...

UAE to invest $2 bn on Indian food parks

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SRIDHAR KUMARASWAMI
Published Jul 15, 2022, 1:35 am IST
Updated Jul 15, 2022, 1:35 am IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the I2U2 virtual Summit, in New Delhi, Thursday, July 14, 2022. (PTI Photo)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the I2U2 virtual Summit, in New Delhi, Thursday, July 14, 2022. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, United States President Joe Biden, new Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan participated in the first ever four-nation India-Israel-US-UAE (I2U2) virtual summit on Thursday evening that focused on food security and clean energy.  

At the summit it was decided that the oil-rich UAE would invest US $2 billion to develop a series of integrated food parks across India that will incorporate state-of-the-art climate-smart technologies. India will "provide appropriate land for the project and will facilitate farmers’ integration into the food parks" while American and Israeli private companies will assist in the projects that will "help maximise crop yields and, in turn, help tackle food insecurity in South Asia and the Middle East."

Later, at a special briefing, foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said that the states where these food parks may be set up include Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. He added that these food parks would benefit small and marginal farmers in India and raise farmers' incomes. He said food crops could include rice, potatoes, onions and bananas.

Also, it was decided at the summit that the I2U2 would advance a "hybrid renewable energy project" worth US $330 million at Dwarka in Gujarat "consisting of 300 megawatts of wind and solar capacity complemented by a battery energy storage system." The project will help achieve India’s goal of achieving 500 GW of non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030. In a joint statement, the I2U2 said "such projects have the potential to make India a global hub for alternate supply chains in the renewable energy sector."

Referring to the I2U2 grouping founded last year as a "unique grouping of countries," the four nations said this "aims to harness the vibrancy of our societies and entrepreneurial spirit to tackle some of the greatest challenges confronting our world, with a particular focus on joint investments and new initiatives in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security."

In his remarks, Mr Modi said the I2U2 has adopted a constructive agenda which is "positive and practical", adding that the grouping has identified joint projects and the roadmap to move ahead and has also decided to increase joint investment in these sectors.

The PM also said the four nations can mobilise their strengths like capital and markets to "accelerate our agenda", adding that "amid the global uncertainty, our cooperative framework is a good model."

The four leaders said they "intend to mobilise private sector capital and expertise to modernise infrastructure, advance low-carbon development pathways for our industries, improve public health and access to vaccines, advance physical connectivity between countries in the Middle East region, jointly create new solutions for waste treatment, explore joint financing opportunities, connect our startups to I2U2 investments, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies, all while ensuring near-and long-term food and energy security."

The joint statement said, "Today’s inaugural I2U2 leaders meeting focused on the food security crisis and clean energy. The leaders discussed innovative ways to ensure longer-term, more diversified food production and food delivery systems that can better manage global food shocks."

Further, the joint statement said, "The UAE -- home to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and host of COP28 in 2023 -- will invest $2 billion USD to develop a series of integrated food parks across India that will incorporate state-of-the-art climate-smart technologies to reduce food waste and spoilage, conserve fresh water, and employ renewable energy sources."

On clean energy, it said, "The I2U2 group will advance a hybrid renewable energy project in India’s Gujarat State consisting of 300 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar capacity complemented by a battery energy storage system. The US Trade and Development Agency funded a feasibility study for the $330 million USD project. UAE-based companies are exploring opportunities to serve as critical knowledge and investment partners. Israel and the United States intend to work with the UAE and India to highlight private sector opportunities."

The four leaders in their statement said, "We also welcome other new groupings of countries, such as the Negev Forum for regional cooperation, that recognise the unique contributions of each partner country, including Israel’s ability to serve as an innovation hub connecting new partners and hemispheres to strategically address challenges that are too great for any one country to manage alone."

They also "expressed their determination to leverage well-established markets to build more innovative, inclusive, and science-based solutions to enhance food security and sustainable food systems" and "welcomed India’s interest in joining the United States, the UAE, and Israel in the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate initiative (AIM for Climate)."

The meeting also reaffirmed the grouping’s support for the Abraham Accords and other peace and normalisation arrangements with Israel and "welcomed the economic opportunities that flow from these historic developments, including for the advancement of economic cooperation in the Middle East and South Asia and in particular for the promotion of sustainable investment amongst the I2U2 partners."

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Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi




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