UAE Economy Minister launches start-up bridge with India

Platform designed to enhance work done under partnership agreement signed in February

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy

Abdulla bin Touq, UAE’s Minister of Economy, and India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday launched an India-UAE Start-up Bridge to provide a platform to investors and entrepreneurs from countries following the signing of an economic partnership agreement.

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 in co-operation and will open more avenues of investment and trade for companies in India and the UAE.

The bridge is part of the trade agreement that will act as a one-stop platform to provide information on start-up opportunities to Indian and UAE entrepreneurs and stakeholders, the leaders said at the event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in India's financial capital, Mumbai.

“These are path-breaking beginnings in the India-UAE CEPA that will unleash the golden era in our economic ties,” Mr Goyal said in a tweet.

Mr bin Touq said the agreement will benefit people and businesses of both countries if the opportunities are fully capitalised upon.

“We know that in the interconnected world, we must create the right conditions as we build our economy,” Mr bin Touq said at the summit.

“It is now up to us to capitalise on this agreement, the tremendous opportunity that it presents, and if we succeed — I am positive that we will — it is safe to say that the best our bilateral relationship can deliver is yet to come,” he said.

Mr bin Touq was on a four-day visit to the country that began on Wednesday.

He arrived in New Delhi with a delegation of 80 representatives, including 41 from government and private companies to explore opportunities under the new trade mechanism.

The CEPA mechanism will provide opportunities for building new and sustainable partnerships between the two countries and is designed to take bilateral economic relations to unprecedented levels.

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.

Trade between the countries stood at $65 billion, according to India’s Ministry of Commerce.

But with CEPA – 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 US $100bn in the next five years.

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

Updated: May 15, 2022, 3:15 AM