UAE, India Ink MoU to Drive Digital Economy Growth

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on February 16, 2024, 13:05:00


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The United Arab Emirates and India have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at propelling the growth of the digital economy. The agreement entails an assessment of the technical and investment prospects for developing data centre projects in India, with an initial capacity of up to 2 gigawatts.

In the esteemed presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, the UAE's Ministry of Investment and India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology have signed this MoU, outlining a framework for expanding bilateral investment cooperation in the digital infrastructure sector, particularly focusing on data centre projects in India.

The MoU signifies a significant stride towards fostering opportunities in digital infrastructure and artificial intelligence between the two nations, showcasing their leadership in advancing regional and digital connectivity.

Signed by His Excellency Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, UAE's Minister of Investment, and His Excellency Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India's Minister of External Affairs, representing the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology of India, the MoU paves the way for joint exploration, evaluation, and investment in data centre projects in India, along with promoting investments in Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as supporting R&D and Innovation initiatives. Moreover, both countries will assess the potential for developing AI compute capacity to support a supercomputer cluster in India, offering a capacity of 8 exaflops for use by various sectors including government, public, private and academia.

The UAE stood as the fourth-largest investor in India in 2023 and the seventh-largest source of Foreign Direct Investment overall. On the other hand, India ranks among the top 15 countries globally in terms of data center capacity, boasting a network of 151 data centers across its regions. With its internet economy projected to reach USD 1 trillion by 2030 from USD 175 billion in 2022, India's digital growth is primarily fueled by the widespread adoption of digital interactions among its vast population, supported by data localisation policies and the "Digital India" initiative. This exponential growth in data consumption necessitates robust digital infrastructure and a resilient data center ecosystem.

This MoU between the UAE's Ministry of Investment and India's Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology aims to foster strong collaboration between public and private entities in both countries, facilitating knowledge exchange and building relationships. His Excellency Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, UAE's Minister of Investment, emphasised the shared vision of leveraging technology for driving innovation, economic growth, and societal development, ensuring that India is equipped with scalable solutions to meet its evolving demands and enabling businesses and industries to adapt effectively to future needs.

This MoU follows the signing of strategic agreements between the UAE's Ministry of Investment and various ministries in India in January 2024, spanning sectors such as renewable energy, food processing, and healthcare.

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