Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the first I2U2 Summit, along with Prime Minister of Israel, Yair Lapid; President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and President of the USA, Joseph R. Biden. The first Leaders’ Summit of I2U2 was held virtually on the 14th of July 2022. The I2U2 Grouping was conceptualised during the Foreign Ministers’ meeting of the four countries, held on the 18th of October 2021.
The I2U2 was conceived to encourage joint investments in six mutually identified areas such as water, energy, health, transportation, space and food security. As reported by the MEA, “this unique grouping of countries 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.”
At the summit, the respective leaders of the four countries deliberated on mobilising capital generated by the private sector capital and expertise to modernise infrastructure, advance low carbon development pathways for the industries, improve public health and provide access to vaccines. They also agreed on advancing physical connectivity between the Middle East nations, jointly creating new solutions for waste management, exploring joint financing opportunities, connecting the countries’ startups to I2U2 investments and promoting the progression of green technologies, all while making sure that near-and long-term food and energy security is achieved.
All the respective leaders reaffirmed their support for the Abraham Accords and other peace agreements. They welcomed the economic opportunities including the development of economic cooperation in the Middle East and South Asia, and in particular for the advancement of sustainable investment amongst the I2U2 partner countries.
They also welcomed other new groupings of countries, such as the Negev Forum for regional cooperation, which recognises the unique assistance of each partner country.
The I2U2 leaders highlighted the following initiatives:
- Food Security: The UAE which is home to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and host of COP28 in 2023 announced that it will be investing $2 billion to develop a series of integrated food parks across India that will incorporate state-of-the-art climate-smart technologies to help reduce food waste and spoilage, conserve fresh water, and employ renewable energy sources. These investments will help maximise the crop yields and, in turn, will help confront food insecurity in South Asia and the Middle East.
- Clean Energy: The I2U2 Group will develop a hybrid renewable energy project in Gujarat which will be consisting of 300 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar capacity complemented by a battery energy storage system. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has decided to finance a likelihood study for the $330 million project. Israel and the United States have intended to work with the UAE and India to highlight opportunities in the private sector. Indian companies are looking forward to participating in this project and contributing to India’s goal of achieving 500 GW of non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030.
The respective leaders expressed their determination to influence well-established markets to build more inclusive, innovative and science-based solutions which will enhance food security and support sustainable food systems.
The leaders also welcomed India’s interest in joining the United States, the UAE, and Israel in the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate initiative (AIM for Climate). They affirmed that these are only the initial steps in a long-term strategic partnership which will promote initiatives and investments to improve the people-to-people connections, enhance sustainability and increase resilience through collaborative science and technology ties.