UAE and India sign a Historic Trade Agreement, Ushering in a New Era of Economic Cooperation

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Executive Council, and Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, convened a Virtual Summit on the 18th day of February 2022. Both presidents articulated their future visions for the historic and amicable relations between the two nations at a time when India is commemorating 75 years of independence with the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav and the UAE is commemorating its 50th anniversary of independence.

Additionally, the leaders witnessed the signing of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (India-UAE CEPA) by the two nations’ respective Ministers of Commerce and Industry/Economy. The India-UAE CEPA is the UAE’s first bilateral trade agreement and India’s first in the MENA area. CEPA is a big bilateral initiative during the epidemic and a significant economic deal that will usher in a new age of strategic collaboration between the two countries. It will reshape bilateral commercial and investment ties, expand developing trade routes between Africa and Asia, advance global trade liberalization, and bolster economic growth in a post-COVID world.

UAE said India is critical for Trade and Investment

“Under President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s leadership, the UAE is consolidating its worldwide position as a gateway for trade and investment,” Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan remarked. “India is a critical strategic partner for us, and this transaction ties us closer than ever before. The agreement achieved today with Prime Minister Modi not only strengthens our economic and commercial ties with a key ally but also ushers in a new age of global collaboration.” 

“The historic economic agreement underlines our leaders’ dedication to the audacious Projects of the 50, undertaken in pursuit of the next 50 years of progress and prosperity,” Sheikh Khalifa continued. Future generations will benefit from this forward-thinking approach, which aims to stimulate development, double our commerce with the rest of the globe, and bolster the UAE’s knowledge- and innovation-driven economy.

This agreement is expected to deliver considerable benefits to UAE and Indian enterprises, including reduced tariffs and expanded market access, while also reviving trading corridors from Africa to Asia and establishing the groundwork for regional growth and prosperity.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated, “I am pleased that our two countries have signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement today. It is interesting that such a significant deal was reached in less than three months. These types of agreements typically take years to complete. The Agreement illustrates the two countries’ longstanding friendship, common vision, and trust. I am optimistic that this will herald in a new era for our bilateral economic relations, with bilateral trade increasing from USD 60 billion to USD 100 billion over the next five years”.

India and UAE improving their bilateral Ties

In the last few years, bilateral relations between India and the UAE have expanded in all areas of mutual interest; both countries entered into a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2017. The two countries’ leaders have maintained regular contact in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the two countries coordinated closely on vital issues of healthcare and food security to combat the epidemic. Ministerial exchanges have also continued between the two parties. This strategic relationship established the groundwork for the CEPA that the two countries inked today.

India and the UAE’s bilateral trade, investment, and energy relations have remained healthy. The CEPA exemplifies these long-standing bilateral trade and investment ties. Both sides are also expanding their collaboration in emerging renewable energy sectors such as green hydrogen, climate action, start-ups, talent development, fintech, and health technology. UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade set to exceed USD 60 billion this fiscal year. India is the UAE’s largest non-oil trading partner, accounting for almost 14% of the UAE’s total non-oil exports globally.

Within five years, CEPA may boost bilateral trade to more than $100 billion in value. The historic trade agreement is anticipated to establish the groundwork for a shared future vision of stronger, more resilient economies that provide sustainable welfare and wellbeing to the two countries’ citizens. 

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