India and UAE can draw global economic map with new trade deal, says UAE Minister of Economy

Agreement will add $8.9 billion to UAE’s GDP by 2030, and take bilateral trade beyond $100 billion, Abdullah Bin Touq says.


Anjana Sankar

Published: Fri 18 Feb 2022, 9:13 PM

India and the UAE can together draw the global economic map and the mutual benefits of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) can be reaped by the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region, Abdullah Bin Touq, UAE Minister of Economy has said.

Speaking at a virtual press briefing after India and the UAE signed the economic agreement, the minister said CEPA will add 1.7% or $8.9 billion to the UAE’s GDP by 2030, and take bilateral trade beyond $100 billion.

As both countries emerge from the global pandemic, Touq said, SEPA will set the stage for an “inclusive, a non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment” for both countries to flourish.

“India and the UAE are willing to keep our markets open. And together we can happily draw the global economic map. The benefits for both parties are clear.,” he said.

“For UAE, it offers access to 1.4 billion people and one of the fastest growing markets in the world. For India, it will get gateways to rapidly expand economies in the Middle East Africa, Europe and that on a business-friendly platform for industries and innovators to flourish,” said the minister.

He said CEPA is a “staggering achievement” not just for two nations but also for global trade

Touq said the agreement covers 80 per cent of the goods and the focus of a trade encourage further investment in sectors such as hospitality, healthcare logistics, construction, professional services, and promote collaboration in key future indices such as agriculture, food security, advanced technology and renewable energy.

It will also provide a platform for SMEs to engage, collaborate and expand into new markets.

The minister said the UAE’s economic goal to increase the economy from Dh1.4 trillion to Dh3 trillion by 2030 and also to offset the losses caused by the pandemic requires new strategies to diversification.

Strengthening bilateral relations with key partners around the world became a key pillar as the UAE sought to increase its trade volumes, enhance its status as a facilitator of global trade and accelerate investments and joint venture opportunities.

“It was entirely fitting that India, one of our oldest allies, was the first country we turned to,” said Touq.

“It is a sign of our long standing economic and cultural ties, the mutual respect and trust we've got over the last 50 years, that that they responded so positively.”

The fact that we were able to agree the terms of a deal of this size, scope and importance within five months, demonstrates the power of shared relations.”

Deal to unlock optimism and opportunity

Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said, CEPA “marks the beginning of a new exciting era for both then nations and promises to unlock optimism and opportunity for 1.4 billion population.”

“It comes at a time when we need it,” said Al Zeyoudi.

He said the agreement will expand markets, and accelerate the flow of capitals, financial, technological and human resources and also encourage collaborations for SMEs and businesses.

He said the agreement has worked out rule-based procedures that will benefit private sector in both countries and also prevent misuse.

The agreement also covers a chapter on digital trade with frameworks on data protection, digital consumer rights, digital signatures.


“There is no limit. We look forward to seeing how our business communities will create a value of collaboration and opportunities, he said.

Al Zayoudi said CEPA is not an agreement creates in five months, but is built on five decades of trade, investment and exchange. “Our relationship has proved to be resilient, flexible and able to evolve and adapt,” he added.

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