Home Economy India, UAE Aim to Sign FTA

India, UAE Aim to Sign FTA

In what could be a new chapter in the bilateral ties between India and the UAE, two sides are aiming to finalize a free trade agreement by the second week of December 2021.

The representatives from two sides are going to meet next week, from December 6-10, to discuss the technicalities of the proposed agreement. The details of such talks were confirmed by Piyush Goyal, the Industry and Commerce Minister of India.

The minister spoke on the sidelines of meeting representatives of aluminum, chemicals, copper and petrochemicals industries on 3 December. These talks are part of the process to reach out to all stakeholders before a deal is signed.

The Minister’s statement said, “The third round of India-UAE CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) negotiations are scheduled to be held in New Delhi on December 6-10 wherein both sides aim to conclude the negotiations.”

The Industry and Commerce Minister apprised members of the industry about the CEPA.

Talking about CEPA, the minister said that such an agreement will improve the general economic and commercial relations between the two countries, it also increases bilateral trade, generates jobs and creates wider social and economic opportunities.

The ministries responsible for signing the CEPA have been holding talks since September.

“Further, industry representatives were also apprised of the strategic importance of the agreement which encompasses deeper bilateral economic engagement and wider market access,” the minister added.

During the meeting the stakeholders also provided their inputs on various aspects of the proposed agreement, highlighting market access and domestic needs.

Under this proposed agreement, the two sides will enforce a cut or eliminate customs duty, so that more trading happens between the two countries. A liberal framework will also ensure more goods and services will be traded bilaterally.

In 2020-2021, trade between India and UAE was worth $43.3 billion. Export earnings were about $16.7 billion whereas import bills were about $26.7 billion.

Despite the pandemic, UAE has remained the third largest trading partner of India. The Gulf country is also one of the leading investors in India.