Sun, 24 Oct 2021

New Delhi [India], September 22 (ANI): Union Minister for Trade and Commerce Piyush Goyal and UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi launched negotiations for a mutually beneficial Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) here on Wednesday.

Speaking at a joint press briefing with Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Goyal said, "India and UAE are among each other's largest trading partners. Today, we have launched negotiations for a mutually beneficial Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)."Looking to build on the progress made by both countries under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed in 2017, both ministers expressed a desire to reach a mutually beneficial economic deal. The first round of CEPA negotiations will be held on September 23-24, a joint press statement by India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry and UAE's Ministry of State for Foreign Trade said.

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi and a high-level UAE delegation are in New Delhi to hold talks aimed at improving bilateral economic relations, including expanding the existing trade and investment relationship.

During the press briefing, Goyal said, "We hope to sign a formal agreement in the early part of 2022 after the completion of internal legal procedures and necessary ratification process."Both ministers emphasised that CEPA will create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in both nations. A new strategic economic agreement is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods to USD 100 billion within five years of the signed agreement and increase trade in services to USD 15 billion, the statement added.

The UAE is currently India's third-largest trading partner with bilateral trade in 2019/2020 valued at USD 59 billion. The UAE is also India's second-largest export destination after the US, with exports valued at approximately USD 29 billion in 2019-2020. (ANI)

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