UAE-India Summit: Non-Resident Indian businessmen hail landmark trade agreement deal

CEPA to boost trade between both nations from $60 billion to $100 billion in the next five years, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir says.

Indian Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir. File photo
Indian Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir. File photo


Published: Fri 18 Feb 2022, 7:56 PM

Last updated: Fri 18 Feb 2022, 8:07 PM

Leading Non-Resident Indian (NRI) businessmen on Friday hailed the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and the UAE, saying the landmark deal will take the economic and commercial engagements to the next level and bring both the sides on a win-win position.

CEPA, a comprehensive path-breaking trade agreement between India and the UAE, was signed during a virtual summit between India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Friday.

The agreement was signed and exchanged by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and UAE Minister of Economy Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri.

The CEPA is likely to boost trade between India and the UAE from $60 billion to $100 billion in the next five years, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir said.

Several businesses in the UAE praised the two governments for signing the CPEA which many new avenues of collaborations will open, and this will benefit businesses from both countries

Yusuffali MA, Chairman of Lulu Group and Vice-Chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce hailed the signing of the CEPA as a “truly a landmark and very decisive moment in the long-standing Indo-UAE trade relations.”

The UAE & India are each other’s key trade partners with robust trade and investments in various sectors in both countries. No doubt with the signing of the CEPA, many new avenues of collaborations will open, and this will benefit businesses from both countries and beyond as the UAE is a key gateway to the Middle East and Africa, Yusuffali said.

“As a UAE based business group with sizeable presence in India, especially in the retail and food processing sectors, we are hoping that our imports from India will see new levels of growth which will further strengthen the food security of UAE,” he said.

Rizwan Adatia, the Chairman of Vision Exports UAE, Cogef group and RAF Global, said that CEPA is the first step towards a new era with India completing 75 years of independence and UAE’s 50 years of foundation.

“The India-UAE agreement is of strategic significance for both partners. It is a win-win for both India and Emirates,” he said, adding that ease of trade, connecting small businesses, start ups, renewable and tech collaboration would be among positive outcomes.

Dr Sunil Manjarekar, President of GMBF Global, Dubai, said CEPA agreement will take india-UAE economic and commercial engagement to the next level.

“It’s a game-changer in mutual benefits for both the countries,” he said.

Manjerakar said that Maharashtra will get maximum benefit from CEPA and that “inclusion of areas like trade, investment, goods and services will add value for the economy.”

Shakir Kantawala, Co-founder & Managing Partner of the WingsWay Training Institute, said he primarily sees a surge in bilateral investments which is important for both nations.

“The leadership teams in both UAE & India have always been progressive visionaries. Our economic ties have consistently been enhanced over the years. It’s time to upscale the commercial relationship and economic bonding,” Kantawala said.

Rashmi Jain, Partner at JRB Chartered Accountants, said the UAE is India’s 3rd largest trade partner with nearly $60 billion of bilateral trade.

“With CEPA, this bilateral trade in goods is expected to increase to $100 billion within 5 years of the signed agreement. Similarly, bilateral investments are also expected to see significant enhancements,” said Jain.

She said the CEPA pact will significantly boost jobs and investments in both the countries.

“Industries that comprise most of the trade are petroleum products, precious metals, textiles, engineering and machinery products, chemicals, woods and wood products etc,” she said.

Kamal Vachani, Group Director and Partner at Al Maya Group, says India and the UAE share a long and rich history of social and economic ties.

“This virtual summit will further pave the way to boost political and trade relations,” he said.

According to Vachani, CEPA between India and the UAE is a matter of significant importance in the context of the growing economic ties between the two countries.

“Trade between India and the UAE has always been an important factor in driving economic partnership. India is among the top three trading partners of the UAE and the signing of a new free trade agreement between both the countries will take the trade to the next level,” said Vachani.

The Ministry of External Affairs said the UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner, and bilateral trade and investment ties are expected to see significant enhancements.

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