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Bilateral Business Councils Announce Creation of I2U2 Business Coalition

The UAE-India Business Council, the UAE-Israel Business Council, and the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to promote the I2U2 Initiative and garner private sector support for this new economic partnership among India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

The governments of India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States formed the I2U2 group in July 2022 with the goal to "tackle some of the greatest challenges confronting our world" by harnessing the emerging and prosperous economies of the four member countries. In a Joint Statement, leaders of the four countries "expressed the intention of the group to put particular focus on joint investments and new initiatives in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security." I2U2 recently held its inaugural Business Forum in Abu Dhabi on February 22nd which brought government officials and private sector representatives from the four member countries to discuss tangible and sustainable cooperation opportunities. During this forum, India also officially joined the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate initiative (AIM for Climate).

This MOU is an agreement among the councils to broadly work together within the framework of the "I2U2 Business Coalition." The MOU aims to deepen technological and private sector collaboration in the region and address transnational challenges while bringing together private sector stakeholders to promote greater business opportunities within the six key sectors of focus for the initiative.

Specifically, the parties agreed to:

The MOU was announced in Washington, D.C. on April 19th at an event with Under Secretary of State Jose Fernandez, the U.S. government champion for I2U2, and in the presence of the Indian Deputy Chief of Mission to the United States, Her Excellency Sripriya Ranganathan, the Israeli Deputy Chief of Mission to the United States, Mr. Eliav Benjamin, and the U.A.E. Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba.

Faizal Kottikollan, Chairman of the UAE-India Business Council, spoke of the potential for quadrilateral cooperation between India, Israel, the U.A.E, and the U.S., saying, "The I2U2 grouping, which is, as the Hon. Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said, ?a good model for practical cooperation in the face of increasing global uncertainties,' has witnessed steady progress in a few areas of mutual cooperation. We at the UAE India Business Council (UIBC UC) are committed to rally our members' support behind this mini-lateral through today's MoU signing, with the goal of achieving the grouping's and the three member organizations' shared economic interests."

Dorian Barak, President of the UAE-Israel Business Council, said of the new I2U2 Business Coalition, "We're delighted to be part of this important and far-reaching initiative, which will connect the business community to promote stronger cooperation between the governments of the USA, U.A.E., India, and Israel. Commerce is the strongest foundation for successful I2U2 engagement, which is emerging as an important pillar of regional economic integration."

Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, said of this initiative, "We could not be more pleased to have the endorsement of Under Secretary Fernandez as well as the governments of India, Israel, and the U.A.E. for this important new initiative. It is a unique partnership of key stakeholders which will undoubtedly bring value to the business community and to our collective membership in all four countries."

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