Economy

India, UAE formally launch CEPA negotiations

New Delhi | Updated on September 22, 2021

Goyal, Al Zeyoudi aim to end negotiations by December, sign pact in March 2022

India and the UAE have formally launched negotiations on the India-United Arab Emirates Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on Wednesday.

The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, in a meeting in New Delhi, decided to hold the first round of CEPA negotiations on September 23-24.

“Both sides will aim to conclude negotiations by December 2021 and sign a formal agreement in March 2022 after the completion of internal legal procedures and ratification,” according to an official release. The new strategic economic agreement is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods to $100 billion within five years of the signed agreement and increase trade in services to $15 billion.

Ahmed Al Zeyoudi travelled to New Delhi with a high-level UAE delegation to hold talks to improve bilateral economic relations, including expanding the existing trade and investment relationship.

‘More opportunities’

The Ministers were optimistic that the CEPA will create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in both nations.

The UAE is currently India’s third-largest trading partner with bilateral trade valued at $59 billion in 2019-20 second-largest export destination after the US, with exports valued at $29 billion.

India was the UAE’s second-largest trading partner in 2019, with bilateral non-oil trade valued at $41 billion. The UAE is also the eighth-largest investor in India, having invested $11 billion between April 2000 and March 2021, while investment by Indian companies in the UAE is estimated at over $85 billion.

India’s major exports to the UAE include petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery, minerals, food items , textiles, engineering and machinery products, and chemicals. India’s top imports from the UAE include petroleum and petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery, minerals, chemicals and wood and wood products.

UAE is also a major supplier of crude oil to India will shipments valued at $10.9 billion in 2019-2020.

Goyal said India’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, which begins on October 1, 2021, will help boost bilateral trade and investment. He confirmed that he will co-chair the ninth UAE-India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments with Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

Published on September 22, 2021

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