India, UAE to begin first round of CEPA talks today, aim to sign pact in 2022
A new strategic economic agreement is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods and services
Looking to bolster their bilateral economic relations and expanding the trade and investment partnership, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are set to hold the first round of CEPA negotiations on September 23-24.
The countries aim at signing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in March next year.
A new strategic economic agreement is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods to USD 100 billion within five years of the signed agreement and increase trade in services to USD 15 billion.
On Wednesday, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi formally launched negotiations on the India-United Arab Emirates CEPA, said a Joint Press Statement released on the occasion.
Al Zeyoudi and a high-level UAE delegation have travelled to New Delhi to hold talks aimed at improving bilateral economic relations, including expanding the existing trade and investment relationship.
Looking to build on the progress made by both countries under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed in 2017, both Ministers expressed a desire to reach a mutually beneficial economic deal.
Both Ministers emphasized that concluding CEPA negotiations quickly and constructively will further strengthen the deep trade and economic ties between both countries.
According to the statement, 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.
Both Ministers emphasized that CEPA will create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in both nations.
UAE is currently India’s third-largest trading partner with bilateral trade in 2019/2020 valued at USD 59 billion.
UAE is also India’s second-largest export destination after the US, with exports valued at approximately USD 29 billion in 2019-2020, the statement informed further.
India was the UAE’s second-largest trading partner in 2019, with bilateral non-oil trade valued at USD 41 billion.
UAE is the eighth-largest investor in India, having invested USD 11 billion between April 2000 and March 2021, while investment by Indian companies in the UAE is estimated to be over USD 85 billion.
India's major exports to the UAE include petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery, minerals, food items such as cereals, sugar, fruits and vegetables, tea, meat, and seafood, 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. India imported USD 10.9 billion of crude oil from the UAE in 2019-2020.