UAE signs $100 billion bilateral trade deal with India

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Feb. 18 (UPI) — India and the United Arab Emirates signed a new, multibillion-dollar trade deal the two countries announced Friday.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is the first bilateral free trade agreement between the two nations.

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The deal could increase trade between the countries to $100 billion over the next five years, up from approximately $60 billion currently.

It marks the first bilateral trade deal for the UAE, and also India’s first bilateral agreement in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The CEPA deal was signed after close to 90 days of negotiations, and is expected to come into effect in approximately 60 days. It was officially signed during a virtual conference Friday.

India is the UAE’s No. 1 trading partner for non-oil exports, and accounts for close to 14% of those exports.

The agreement covers areas including goods and services, rules of origin, customs procedures, government procurement, intellectual property rights, and e-commerce.

“There will be tariff elimination on more than 80% of the goods that go to India, and significant economic benefits for both countries by having more market access, new attractions for investments, and creating opportunities in key sectors,” UAE minister of state for foreign trade Thani Al Zeyoudi told CNBC Thursday.

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“The agreement reflects the deep friendship, shared vision and the trust between the two countries. I am sure this will usher in a new era in our bilateral economic relations,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the conclusion of the summit, reports CNBC.