UAE-India CEPA Strengthens Economic Relations and Boosts Sustainable Growth

UAE – A strong strategic partnership between the UAE and India has led to sustainable development and achievements in various fields of trade, tourism, aviation, among others, the top leaders observed.

Bilateral relations, which were upgraded to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) in 2017, reached new heights with the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in February.

As part of the continued efforts of the leaders of the United Arab Emirates and India to expand bilateral relations, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Friday received a written letter from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the strengthening of relations strategies and the prospects for developing them to serve their common interests.

Dr S Jaishankar, India’s External Affairs Minister, delivered the letter to Sheikh Mohamed during a meeting held at Al Shati Palace in Abu Dhabi. The two sides discussed various aspects of the bilateral relationship and the importance of cooperating to strengthen and advance it in line with the CSP and CEPA.

Separately, the third session of the UAE-India Strategic Dialogue was co-chaired by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Jaishankar. On Thursday, the 14th edition of the UAE-India Joint Committee was also held.

Sheikh Abdullah noted that the UAE and India have succeeded in establishing an advanced and enduring model for their strategic relations, which has resulted in many significant achievements in several sectors. He said the two countries are keen to strengthen them to advance their common interests.

Sheikh Abdullah pointed out that CEPA has broadened the horizons to develop and strengthen economic relations to boost sustainable development in the two countries.

“The growth of our economic relations brought about by CEPA has generated substantial opportunities in areas such as trade, investment, tourism and aviation. Indeed, our respective economies have already begun to prosper thanks to this agreement. India is the largest export partner of the UAE, the second in terms of imports and the first to attract foreign direct investment from the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, air traffic between the two countries reached nearly 3.5 million passengers in 2021.”

Sheikh Abdullah noted that the UAE is the second largest destination and source of Indian exports and imports, with a strong and growing position as a source of foreign direct investment for India.

“Total trade between the two countries has reached an all-time high, reaching nearly $70 billion in 2021. Indeed, our relationship is one of the most successful bilateral histories in economic diplomacy. The success of our relationship has been reinforced by the establishment of various multilateral cooperation initiatives. Our multilateral cooperation is an integral part of our strategy to advance Emirati-Indian relations, while strengthening our regional and global position.

Sheikh Abdullah highlighted the successful collaboration within the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the cooperation between the two nations within the I2U2 group, as evidence of the existing and emerging opportunities that the UAE and the India have within international organizations and institutions.

“I also look forward to deeper cooperation with India through the scaling up of the UAE’s participation in BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the G20. We look forward to making contributions meaningful within these forums in a manner consistent with the position of the UAE within the international community.”

He thanked India for supporting the UAE’s bid for membership in the Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the period 2023-2026.

“We appreciate India’s support for the re-nomination of the United Arab Emirates to become a member of Group III of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the period 2022-2025.”

The UAE Embassy will play a key role

Through CEPA, the two countries have set themselves the ambitious goal of increasing the volume of non-oil trade to $100 billion over the next five years.

“In order to achieve this goal and realize the ambitious economic vision presented by both parties, I have personally been keen to elevate the role of the UAE Embassy in facilitating trade and cooperation in investment. I hope that our embassy will become a model for our embassies and missions all over the world. As we continue to discuss the opportunities, achievements and distinguished relationships that make up the UAE-India relationship, it is also our responsibility to raise the challenges that emerge as we get closer.

Sheikh Abdullah urged both parties to work together constructively.

“We must not postpone resolving outstanding issues, but rather design intuitive and innovative solutions to our challenges to ensure they can be consigned to history as another testament to our success.”

Sheikh Abdullah underscored the need to advance the issues of double taxation exemption and aviation, noting that these two areas “constitute an axis for the continuation of our trade, our investments and our tourism growth”.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar, who has completed his three-day official visit, hailed the strategic partnership and strong historical ties.

He underlined the concern to strengthen and develop strategic relations to meet the aspirations of their leaders. The Indian Minister noted that the progress made under their partnership is a source of pride and a driver to seek greater success in achieving common development goals.

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