UAE-India trade ties get a leg up with new CEPA

CEPA is expected to transform bilateral economic and investment ties between India and the UAE

The first India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (India-UAE CEPA) bilateral trade accord has been concluded by the UAE. This is also India’s first bilateral trade agreement in the MENA region. A significant initiative in bilateral relations during the pandemic and a major trade agreement that will launch a new era of strategic cooperation between India and UAE, CEPA is expected to transform bilateral economic and investment ties, open up emerging trade routes between Africa and Asia, promote global trade liberalization and propel economic growth in a post-Covid world.

A virtual summit between the two nations witnessed Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Executive Council, and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India overseeing the signing of the bilateral agreement and charting out the future vision of ties between both countries. The summit assumes added significance due to the fact that India is celebrating 75 years of Independence (Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav) and UAE is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its foundation.

CEPA boosts UAE’s economic and trading relationship with India

Stating that India is one of the most important strategic partners for UAE, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the deal brings both the nations closer than ever before. The agreement not only deepens UAE’s economic and trading relationship with a close partner but unlocks a new phase of global cooperation for the nation, he added.

The deal is expected 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.

Noting that such an important agreement was concluded in a record time of less than 3 months, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that such agreements generally take years for conclusion. The agreement demonstrates the deep friendship, shared vision and the trust between the two countries, he said. It is expected that the new agreement would open up a new era in India’s economic relations with UAE, and the bilateral trade volume would go up from US$ 60 billion to US$ 100 billion in the coming 5 years, he added.

Worked closely in healthcare, food security areas during pandemic

Significant is the fact that bilateral ties between India and the UAE have seen adding strength in all areas of mutual interest in the past few years. The two nations had set out on a strategic partnership in 2017, and since then leaders of the two countries have remained in regular touch over the past few years particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic as the two countries collaborated closely in critical areas of healthcare and food security to fight the pandemic.

The inking of CEPA stands testimony to the longstanding bilateral trade and investment linkages, and both the countries have been adding more muscle towards cooperation in new areas of renewable energy like green hydrogen, climate action, start-ups, skilling, fintech and health tech.

The UAE is India’s third largest trade partner and bilateral trade is expected to surpass US$ 60 billion mark in the current financial year. India ranks as the UAE’s top trading partner for non-oil exports, accounting for nearly 14 percent of the UAE’s total non-oil exports globally.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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