The forum brings together senior private and public sector representatives from India, Israel, the UAE and the United States
Officials at the I2U2 Forum in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. – Wan
The inaugural I2U2 Business Forum kicked off in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, jointly organized by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development. The forum brought together representatives from India, Israel, the UAE and the United States to discuss opportunities for collaboration between the business communities of the four countries.
This is the first event of its kind since the official launch of the I2U2 Group during the I2U2 Leaders Summit in July 2022. The I2U2 Partnership, comprising India, Israel, the UAE and the US, is a group focused on driving tangible economic cooperation among its members in a range of areas, including food security, water, energy, space, transport, health and technology. It aims to mobilize private-sector capital and expertise to help modernize infrastructure, decarbonize industry, improve public health and promote the development of green technologies, among other goals.
The I2U2 Business Forum kicked off with opening remarks by Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State, UAE; Jose W. Fernandez, Deputy Secretary of State, US; Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, India; White House Middle East and North Africa Coordinator Brett McGurk. In their remarks, officials reiterated their commitment to strengthen economic cooperation under the I2U2 framework, noting the importance of direct engagement between policymakers in I2U2 countries and private sector stakeholders interested in forging future partnerships.
For his part, Ravi reaffirmed India’s commitment to the I2U2 partnership and strongly called on all stakeholders to work towards real progress in all I2U2 initiatives, including the establishment of an I2U2 Innovation Hub in Gurgaon. In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for LiFE-Lifestyle for Environment, he urged I2U2 partners to work towards sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyles for all.
Levi said: “This is an exciting time in Abu Dhabi, with the governments of all four countries and their private sectors coming together for the first time at the I2U2 Business Forum. Today, we are proud to present some of the best Israeli technology and expertise here, in order to include the private sector in projects that benefit the people of our region. We also hope to develop new ideas for initiatives between these four countries. In this regard, Israel has submitted to the Forum a proposal for a joint space Proposals from businesses. This forum is proof that the outcomes of the Abraham Accords and new connections between peoples and nations to share capabilities and knowledge can contribute to prosperity in the Middle East and beyond.”
Al Sayegh highlighted the UAE’s high-level commitment to the I2U2 initiative, saying it is only the first step in a long-term partnership that will explore ways to boost investment to improve the quality, sustainability and resilience of infrastructure, addressing Climate change, and driving the transition to a net-zero world. In this regard, he emphasized the importance of driving tangible progress in climate change mitigation ahead of the UAE hosting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) in November. Al Sayegh noted that by working together to promote a just and inclusive energy transition, the UAE is determined to work with its international partners, including I2U2 countries, to curb the worsening effects of climate change while driving economic growth.
Fernandez commented: “I am delighted to represent the United States at the inaugural I2U2 Business Forum to leverage the private sector to build on the Abraham Accords and other agreements to further advance economic integration and set standards for joint efforts to address the broader region’s most pressing issues. challenge.”
A formal signing ceremony followed, welcoming India as the latest country to join the Climate Agriculture Innovation Mission, launched at COP26 by the UAE and the US, with Israel as a partner of 140 other governmental and non-governmental organisations. government entity. Officials said they believed the move was a stepping stone to greater cooperation on innovations in climate change agriculture and food systems.
The morning concluded with a presentation of two major initiatives currently being explored under I2U2, including a potential $2 billion project to build a series of integrated agricultural facilities across India and the potential development of a 300 MW wind and solar hybrid in India. Power plant Gujarat, India.
Company and private sector representatives then exchanged insights and discussed potential partnerships in seven parallel sessions focusing on the areas of food security, energy, water, space, transport, health and technology. The I2U2 Business Forum aims to be a regular platform for private and public entities from India, Israel, UAE and the US to convene and build tangible joint ventures in I2U2’s core economic and technological areas.