Bilateral non-oil trade between the UAE and India has reached $50.5 billion, a 5.8 per cent annual increase, in the first 12 months of the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries.
The figures were announced following a bilateral meeting between Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, and Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, in New Delhi to discuss the progress of the first year of the Cepa.
The two ministers commended the effectiveness of the Cepa in promoting trade and investment, and emphasised their commitment to building a partnership that delivers long-term prosperity, an official statement said.
They also attended the conclusion of the inaugural UAE-India joint committee, which was convened on the anniversary of the agreement.
Since the implementation of the Cepa between the UAE and India, “we have witnessed real momentum in bilateral non-oil trade, which is keeping us on course to reach our target of $100 billion by 2030”, Mr Al Zeyoudi said.
“But this was always more than just a trade deal, and the increased investment flows, joint ventures and deeper market penetration underline the real potential of the agreement.
“Our visit this week was both a celebration of the achievements to date and an opportunity to strengthen what is becoming a genuine partnership for growth.”
The UAE signed its first Cepa with India in February last year and it took effect the following May.
The benefits of the Cepa include enhanced market access, lower or eliminated tariff rules, simpler customs procedures, clear and transparent rules, and rule-based competition.
The UAE, which aims to boost trade and economic relations with countries around the globe, is working towards signing 26 Cepas as it seeks to attract more investment and diversify its economy.
“The UAE-India Cepa was designed to be a flexible document, able to continually adapt to the changing economic climate and evolving needs of each side,” said Abdulla Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary in the Industrial Development Sector at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology.
“The joint committee is crucial to understanding not only the economic impact of the deal, but each side’s experiences of implementation and utilisation … and ensuring both nations are able to derive maximum benefits from it.”
The UAE aims to deepen trade and investment ties with fast-growing economies in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as attract $150 billion in foreign investment to its domestic non-oil industries and diversify its export profile.
The UAE's goods trade with the rest of the world hit $1.02 trillion in 2022, with exports and imports increasing due to higher crude oil prices, according to the World Trade Organisation's Global Trade Outlook and Statistics report released in April.
The Gulf country accounted for 2.4 per cent of the world's goods exports last year, the WTO said.