Republic Day 2017 Celebrations : The 68th India Republic Day 2017 Celebration is around the corner and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi shall grace the occasion by being the chief guest this year. This year’s selection of chief guest indicates a political message of boosting trade and security ties between both the countries. This is the second time a Gulf leader will be attending Republic Day celebrations after the visit of King of Saudi Arabia in 2006. So a decade has passed by before India got another chief guest from the Gulf countries.
The crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is also the Deputy Supreme Commander in the UAE armed forces. The meeting between the two nations’ representatives is therefore expected to promote mutual ties in the fundamental areas of security and trade.
UAE made an agraeement with India on strengthening cooperation to counter terrorism. Another factor for increased bilateral ties is trade between the two nations. Statistically, UAE is the third largest trading partner India has, after China and the US. An approximate sum of the bilateral trade between UAE and India is $60 billion.
What justifies the invitation of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan this year more, is the fact that the Gulf region is home to a massive number of Indians. More than seven million people of Indian origin are residing in the Gulf region with their annual allowance estimated more than $14 billion.
In addition, India’s export to the GCC countries during 2015-16 was of a total worth of $41.71 billion. Meanwhile, the mutual trading done between the two during the same duration was of $97.46 billion in total.
UAE in return, has shown positive signs to India’s quest of receiving investment for the modernization of infrastructure. As a matter of fact, UAE has confirmed its investment in figures by stating its will to invest $75 billion on a long-term basis.
Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister and ex-PM Manmohan Singh broke the protocol by personally going to the airport to receive their guests from the Gulf. Therefore, boosting trade and security ties between India and UAE seems like a significant factor behind inviting the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi because the latter is an ally of Pakistan, whom India is trying to discreetly cut off.
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Highlights of Republic Day 2017 :
- PM Narendra Modi paid the nation’s homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti.
- Ashok Chakra was presented by President Pranab Mukherjee to late Havildar Hangpan Dada’s wife Chasen Lowang.
- A marching contingent of the UAE military is the second foreign military to ever participate in the Republic Day parade. Last year, a French Army contingent joined the parade becoming the first-ever foreign military to do so.
- Four Mi-17 V5 helicopters in inverted ‘Y’ formation showered flower petals on the Rajpath.
- For the first time in the history of Republic Day celebrations, the “black cat” commandos of the elite counter-terror force National Security Guard (NSG) march down Rajpath in full armed gear.
- India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas makes a debut at the Republic Day parade along with long-range howitzer Dhanush. Three Tejas aircrafts went past above the Rajpath in Vic formation at 780kmph.
- The Central Public Works Department tableau is themed Clean India, Green India.