UAE minister arrives in Delhi to explore opportunities under CEPA deal

India and the Emirates are aiming to increase non-oil bilateral trade to $100 billion in next five years

Abdulla bin Touq, UAE Minister of Economy with India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: India's Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Abdulla bin Touq, UAE Minister of Economy, has arrived in Delhi with a high-level delegation to explore prospects of joint investments under the newly inked economic partnership with India.

India and the Emirates signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, or CEPA, in February.

The agreement, which came into effect on May 1, marks a new phase of strategic co-operation and will open additional avenues of investment and trade for companies in India and the UAE.

The trade pact is aimed at accelerating the flow of goods and increasing bilateral trade volumes through duty-free exports.

The benefits include enhanced market access, lower or eliminated tariff rules, simpler customs procedures, clear and transparent protocols and rule-based competition.

“The visit provides an excellent opportunity to further strengthen the already close and dynamic economic ties between the two countries,” India’s Ministry of Commerce said.

“The visit also includes interactions with key investors of both sides.”

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Mr bin Touq is leading a delegation of 80 representatives, including 41 from government and private companies, who will discuss further opportunities under the new trade mechanism with their Indian counterparts during the four-day visit.

“The visit will also brief the UAE delegation about the facilities and services that the historic CEPA will provide to companies and businesses in both countries,” the UAE’s embassy in Delhi said.

The CEPA will provide opportunities for building new and sustainable partnerships between the two countries and take the bilateral economic relations to unprecedented levels, the embassy said.

On Wednesday, India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal will meet Mr bin Touq and the delegation that includes Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

The delegates will also attend the UAE-India Economic Partnership Summit on Friday in Delhi.

The UAE is currently India’s third-largest trading partner and the second-largest export destination after the US. India is the UAE’s second-largest trading partner and the largest in terms of exports.

India accounted for nine per cent of the total volume of the UAE's trade with the world in 2021, while bilateral trade between the countries stood at $65 billion, according to India’s Ministry of Commerce.

But with CEPA – the UAE’s first comprehensive strategic partnership with any country and India's first in a decade – both nations aim to increase non-oil bilateral trade to $100 billion in the next five years.

The high-level delegation will focus on priority sectors for co-operation that remain key drivers for boosting bilateral ties such as manufacturing, aviation, financial services, food security, transport and infrastructure.

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Updated: May 11, 2022, 5:37 PM
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