US committed to I2U2 goals, deepening economic integration: Under Secy Fernandez



US committed to I2U2 goals, deepening economic integration: Under Secy Fernandez

The United States on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to India-Israel-UAE-US (I2U2) and made a strong pitch for making significant progress in member countries. US Under Secretary Jose W. Fernandez attended the inaugural session of the I2U2 (Israel, India, the UAE, and the United States) Business Forum.

Dammu Ravi, Secretary of Economic Relations in the Ministry of External Affairs of India along with UAE Minister of State Ahmed Al-Sayegh, and Ronen Levi, Director-General at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also at the Inaugural I2U2 Business Forum.

“On my first trip to the region in this role for the United States, I couldn’t be more pleased to meet with I2U2 counterparts from the UAE, Israel, and India, and senior private sector representatives from partner countries to spearhead business-to-business cooperation,” tweeted Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez, who was in Abu Dhabi to attend the I2U2 Sherpas meeting. He also attended the I2U2 Business Forum and said that the US is committed to the shared goals of prosperity, peace, and innovation and we are focused on advancing mutually beneficial economic priorities.

The I2U2 group was formed during Secretary Blinken’s virtual call with his Emirati, Indian, and Israeli counterparts in October 2021 and was officially launched by President Biden at the inaugural I2U2 Leaders’ Meeting last summer.

“Our countries are committed to the shared goals of prosperity, peace, and innovation and we are focused on advancing mutually beneficial economic priorities, a partnership based on cooperation, not competition. This initiative spans regions and sets a precedent for what is possible,” Fernandez said at the inaugural I2U2 Business Forum. “I2U2 provides a new regional platform to deepen economic integration, and an affirmative agenda within the Middle East, Asia, and beyond.  It serves as a model for promoting trusted regional partnerships that can create collaborative commercial opportunities and good-paying jobs,” he added.

He also stated that I2U2 reinforces the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal to build on the Abraham Accords and other normalization agreements and advance Israel’s economic integration into the broader region. “It further sets a standard for working together to deliver solutions to the region’s most pressing challenges.  The two initial projects promote food security and clean energy in India, and they are innovative, ambitious, achievable, and commercially viable,” he added.

“My three counterparts and I are committed to moving I2U2 forward. While our initial focus is on initiatives in the four I2U2 countries, we are confident that this model could yield benefits and new opportunities in other parts of the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond, and may consider broadening the scope to other sectors, including technology and semiconductors. We are excited about the future of I2U2, including our pipeline of projects in solar, wind, and rail transport infrastructure – multibillion-dollar initiatives that will take time and expertise,” Fernandez said.

In his inaugural speech, Fernandez also said that the US is working closely with other I2U2 counterparts to explore additional projects to tackle food insecurity and advance space cooperation – areas that will require all of the member countries to share expertise, adapt to climate challenges, and invest in innovative technology.

He further stated that all must do their part and act urgently to respond to the crisis of climate change, and ultimately build a stronger, more sustainable food system for the future.

“We will be working to identify how climate change will impact our agricultural systems and build resilient food systems which are adapted to frequent and extreme climate impacts. We must ensure that the basic prerequisites for improved agricultural production are in place:  good soils and crop varieties adapted to climate change. We aim to discuss these and other opportunities today.  Our strategy is sustained commitment and coordination – we are already on that path,” Fernandez said.

Related posts