UAE and India sign Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
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UAE and India sign Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

UAE and India sign Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

The strategic partnership could boost the value of bilateral trade between India and the UAE to over $100bn within the next five years

The UAE and India signed the landmark India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (India-UAE CEPA) on February 18, during a virtual summit attended by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. The leaders signed the agreement on behalf of the two nations.

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry; and Dr Ahmed Abdurahman Al Banna, the UAE Ambassador to India were also present at the signing, according to state news agency, WAM.

The partnership will set in motion a new period of strategic cooperation between the two countries, as it boosts bilateral economic and investment ties and opens up emerging trade routes between Africa and Asia. Both countries will also strengthen cooperation in new areas of renewable energy, climate action, startups, fintech and health tech, among others.

The UAE is India’s third largest trade partner. Total trade between the two countries touched $53bn during April-December 2021-22.

Read: Total trade between India and the UAE stood at $53bn during April-December 2021-22

India ranks as the UAE’s number one trading partner for non-oil exports, accounting for nearly 14 per cent of the UAE’s total non-oil exports globally.

Bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to cross $60bn in the current financial year, with the total value of bilateral trade potentially surpassing $100bn within five years supported by the latest agreement.

According to WAM, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed emphasised the importance that India held as strategic partner for the UAE during the summit. “The historic economic agreement demonstrates the commitment of our leaders to the bold Projects of the 50, launched in our pursuit of the next 50 years of progress and prosperity. Future generations will benefit from this forward-looking vision aimed at stimulating growth and doubling our trade with the world and strengthen the UAE’s knowledge and innovation-driven economy. This deal promises to provide significant benefits to UAE and Indian businesses, including reduced tariffs and enhanced market access, while also breathing new life into trading corridors from Africa to Asia and laying the foundations for growth and prosperity that will benefit the entire region,” he said.

During the summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that it was commendable that the agreement was concluded in a record time of less than three months. “I am confident that this will usher in a new era in our bilateral economic relations, and the bilateral trade volume will increase from US $60bn to $100bn in the coming five years,” he added.

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