The UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is all set to launch sector-specific programmes and initiatives to address initial ‘teething challenges’ on both sides.

Addressing the Indian business community on Thursday, during ‘UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement A Watershed in the Strategic Partnership’, Dr Aman Puri, The Consul-General of India in Dubai, said: “Trade relations between both UAE and India have reached a point where both the economies can immensely benefit from each other offering tremendous business opportunities. The current year will witness huge investments from the UAE into India and vice-versa.”

India was the second-largest trading partner of the UAE in 2021 has accounted for 9 per cent of the total volume of the UAE’s trade with the world, and 13 per cent of the UAE’s non-oil exports, while the non-oil foreign trade between the two countries in 2021 reached Dh165 billion, a growth of 66 per cent compared to 2020. Within the next five years, India seeks to grow the value of such bilateral trade to $100 billion (Dh367 billion), further securing India’s place as one of the UAE’s most significant and trusted commercial partners.

Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to the UAE assured that both governments are actively chalking the architecture to facilitate Cepa. The new initiatives will organise a series of programmes for gems and jewellery; petroleum products; engineering goods; textiles; electronic goods; drugs and pharmaceuticals; and food & agro products.

“The plan is to introduce a three-pronged strategy focusing on 15 buyers and sellers meet focusing on key markets every fortnight; focused participation of 11 exhibitions; and set up a platform for addressing and facilitating India exports,” said Sudhir.

Shaima Alaydarous, director - Trade Negotiations and International Organisations Department, Ministry of Economy and Omar Khan, director, International Offices, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry attended the event expressing a strong commitment from the UAE to bolster trade ties.

Khan said: “Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry is very keen to double its size of the team in India to facilitate the dialogues between two nations and help business communities on both sides for an exchange of seamless trade and investment opportunities.”

Suresh Kumar, chairman, IBPC Dubai, Founder and Mentor, Tricolour Values Group, said: “We have pledged our ongoing role as a catalyst for successful Cepa across various sectors which are hugely positively impacted. Clearly, with the first shipment which took place on May 2, 2022 — the day after Cepa came into effect — there has been significant momentum in trade. Our role will also be involving policy advocacy supporting specific tangible actionable investors, institutional and family offices to take full benefit of CEPA.” —

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