India-UAE Economic Partnership: Doubling Non-Petroleum Trade by 2030

On Monday, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached an agreement to target a trade volume of USD 100 billion in non-petroleum products by 2030, a significant increase from the current USD 48 billion, according to a press release by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The two countries successfully conducted the inaugural meeting of the Joint Committee (JC) of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral trade under the CEPA and agreed to activate the established committees, sub-committees, and technical council.

They also pledged to exchange preferential trade data quarterly to effectively monitor the CEPA’s implementation. Both sides addressed potential obstacles to the agreement’s implementation and established a new sub-committee on Trade in Services. Additionally, they agreed to establish the UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC) as a business-to-business collaboration mechanism, with a particular focus on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups, aiming to foster stronger economic ties and maximize the benefits of the CEPA. The release also mentioned that discussions on World Trade Organization (WTO) matters took place, highlighting the upcoming 13th Ministerial Conference of the WTO scheduled in Abu Dhabi in February 2024.

On June 11-12, 2023, a high-level delegation from the UAE, led by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade of the UAE, visited India. The two sides signed the agreed minutes of the 1st Meeting of the Joint Committee (JC) of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, in the presence of the respective Ministers. They decided to operationalize the existing committees, sub-committees, and technical councils under the CEPA. Moreover, they established the UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC) as a collaboration mechanism for business-to-business interactions, focusing on start-ups and MSMEs.

During the visit, Dr. Zeyoudi held discussions with Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry. The occasion also marked the first anniversary of the implementation of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The Ministers conducted a Joint Press Conference to highlight the achievements and successful conclusion of the 1st meeting of the Joint Committee. They also participated in a business-to-business event organized by the Department of Commerce in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The Union Commerce Minister emphasized the positive outcomes derived from the agreement, with bilateral trade between India and the UAE growing at approximately 16.5% and reaching a record high of approximately USD 84.84 billion during the fiscal year 2022-23. Furthermore, Piyush Goyal noted that India’s exports to the UAE witnessed a 12% growth, reaching USD 31.6 billion in 2022-2023.

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