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Last updated: 02 May, 2023  

UAE.9.Thmb.jpg India-UAE trade

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Bikky Khosla | 02 May, 2023

India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on February 18, 2022. The objective was to increase merchandise trade between the two countries to $100 billion over next five years. The agreement came into force in May 2022, and according to latest figures, since then to March 2023, India-UAE trade has increased by 14 percent.

During the CEPA implementation period bilateral trade between the two countries increased to $76.9 billion from $67.5 billion during May 2021 to March 2022. The UAE has traditionally remained a major export market for India, and now India's exports to the UAE stands at $28.5 billion (from $26.2 billion) during the CECA implementation period. During the same period, India's global exports, excluding the UAE, grew only at 3.1 percent.

These figures show that a well thought-out trade pact can make a great difference. The India-UAE CECA, signed between our Prime Minister and the President of the UAE, was finalized in a record time of just 88 days and it also came into force in less than 3 months. This shows the emphasis both sides placed on the comprehensive trade pact, and now the result is before us.

Meanwhile, India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland last week discussed the prospects of resuming negotiations for a trade pact. In contrast, India is also in talks with Russia for a free trade deal, with a 50-member business delegation already in a four-day visit to Russia. These efforts, if given right direction, will definitely benefit India's external trade.

I invite your opinions.
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