New Delhi: India and the UAE on Friday inked a landmark Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and unveiled a roadmap for expansion of overall ties at a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
In his remarks, Modi delved into various facets of ties between India-and United Arab Emirates and said both the nations will stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” against terrorism while referring to the recent terrorist attacks in the Gulf country.
On CEPA, Modi noted that both sides could conclude the negotiations on such an important agreement in less than three months though it takes years for this type of pact to conclude.
The government said the agreement will provide significant benefits to businesses from both sides including enhanced market access and reduced tariffs and the pact is expected to increase bilateral trade from the current USD 60 billion to USD 100 billion in the next five years.
The trade pact was signed by Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and the UAE’s Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri.
Another highlight of the virtual summit was the unveiling of a joint vision statement titled “Advancing India and UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: New Frontiers, New Milestone” that seeks to significantly enhance overall cooperation.
“The statement establishes a roadmap for a future-oriented partnership between India and the UAE and identifies focus areas and outcomes,” an official statement said.
“The shared objective is to promote new trade, investment and innovation dynamic in diverse sectors, including economy, energy, climate action, emerging technologies, skills and education, food security, healthcare and defence and security,” it said.
Asserting that the trade pact reflects the deep friendship, shared vision and trust between the two countries, Modi said, “I am sure this will usher in a new era in our economic relations. And our business will grow from USD 60 billion to USD 100 billion in the next five years.”
Modi also said that both countries can encourage start-ups through joint-incubation and joint-financing, adding there was scope for cooperation in the skill development of people as well.
“We strongly condemn the recent terrorist attacks in the UAE. India and UAE will stand shoulder to shoulder against terrorism,” he said.
The Prime Minister also complimented the UAE for showing interest in investing in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Following the successful visit of the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir to the UAE last month, several Emirati companies have shown interest in investing in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
“We welcome investment by UAE in all sectors including logistics, healthcare, hospitality in J&K,” he added.
Both leaders also expressed deep satisfaction at the continuous growth in bilateral relations in all sectors, the statement said.
“Two MoUs signed between Indian and the UAE entities were also announced during the summit. These are, MoU between APEDA and DP World and Al Dahra on Food Security Corridor Initiative and MoU between India’s Gift City and Abu Dhabi Global Market on cooperation in financial projects and services,” it said.
“Two other MoUs — one on cooperation in climate action and the other on education have also been agreed between the two sides,” it added.
The two leaders also released a joint commemorative stamp on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and the 50th year of the UAE’s foundation.