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India, UAE Launch CEPA Negotiations, Aims To Finish Them By Year-end

Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, UAE, and Union Minister Piyush Goyal issued a joint statement and said that the first round of CEPA negotiations will be held on 23-24 September 2021.

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India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday formally launched negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which is likely to be finished by December end, this year. 

Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, UAE, and Union Minister Piyush Goyal issued a joint statement and said that the first round of CEPA negotiations will be held on 23-24 September 2021.

The joint statement read, “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 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. "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," the statement added. 

Talking about the UAE, presently, the country is India’s third-largest trading partner with bilateral trade in Financial Year (FY) 20 valued at $59 billion. The UAE is also India’s second-largest export destination after the US, with exports valued at approximately $29 billion in FY20. India was the UAE’s second-largest trading partner in 2019, with bilateral non-oil trade valued at $41 billion. The UAE is the eighth-largest investor in India, having invested $11 billion between April 2000 and March 2021, while investment by Indian companies in the UAE is estimated to be over $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 crude petroleum and petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery, minerals, chemicals and wood, and wood products. India imported $10.9 billion of crude oil from the UAE in FY20.


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