Business Leaders Hail Landmark UAE-India Trade Deal
Business leaders from the UAE’s largest private sector companies across defence, technology, healthcare and manufacturing have lauded the country’s first bilateral trade agreement, which promises to unleash a new era of economic opportunity with India.
The UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (UAE-India CEPA) is a historic trade deal that will transform ties in strategically important industries, such as aviation, logistics, agriculture, construction, renewables, petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.
The partnership is anticipated to increase bilateral non-oil trade to more than $100 billion within five years, creating enormous opportunities for businesses in both countries. It is also expected to create 140,000 highly skilled jobs in the UAE.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Executive Council, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the signing of the agreement on 18 February.
Leading businesses across the Emirates voiced their strong approval for the deal after it was signed in New Delhi by His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq, UAE Minister of Economy, and His Excellency Shri Piysuh Goyal, India’s Minister of Textiles, Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi also witnessed the signing of the agreement.
Yusuff Ali, Chairman of Lulu Group and Vice-Chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is truly a landmark and very decisive moment in the long-standing Indo-UAE trade relations as both countries ink the UAE-India CEPA.
"UAE & India are each other’s key trade partner with robust trade and investments in various sectors in both countries. No doubt with the signing of CEPA, many new avenues of collaborations will open, and this will benefit businesses from both countries and beyond as UAE is a key gateway to Middle East and Africa.
"The current bilateral trade volume of $53 billion is expected to double to $100 billion in five years. As UAE based business group with sizeable presence in India, especially in the retail and food processing sectors, we are hoping that our imports from India will see new levels of growth which will further strengthen the food security of UAE.”
His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, Executive Chairman, Board of Directors, EDGE Group, said: “As a major contributor to the economic growth of the UAE through advanced technology and manufacturing, EDGE applauds the recent signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the UAE and India, which remains a vitally important market and valued partner for the group."
Saud Abu Al Shawareb, Managing Director of Dubai Industrial City, added: “The UAE and India have nurtured a long-standing and thriving bilateral relationship that has benefitted the economic diversification and competitiveness of both countries.
"Strategic partnerships and trade have fostered a significant exchange of talent, knowledge and investment, and the UAE-India CEPA enhances our ties as both countries pursue innovation and technological advancement in the manufacturing industry."
Vikas Chadha, Chief Executive Officer, Jumbo Electronics Company, said: “At Jumbo Electronics, we fully endorse and welcome the completion of the CEPA deal. This is a forward-thinking agreement signed by two progressive governments in the UAE and India.
"It is the right step to further enhance already strong bilateral ties between the two countries. By reducing tariffs and implementing sector-specific changes, businesses and consumers in both countries will benefit.”
Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director, LuLu Financial Holdings, said: “The UAE and India have historically shared a close bond in several areas of trade and commerce. CEPA will definitely encourage the investor community, both regionally and globally, to ride on the potential of a robust UAE-India economic corridor."
PNC Menon, Founder and Chairman, Sobha Group, said: “The continuous efforts of the governments of the UAE and India to forge stronger bilateral trade relations founded on both countries’ historical ties are a welcome move for the Indian business community."
Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare, said: “The UAE has been a second home for over 3.4 million Indians and India’s largest trade partner for many years. The leaders of both countries share an amicable bond and this is just another step towards strengthening ties and the relationship between the two countries.
"With this agreement, we can expect the business between the two countries to increase exponentially. Many initiatives like the 100% business ownership, and long term residency like the Golden Visa among others have provided a huge encouragement for Indian investors to further expand their investments in the UAE."
Irfan Izhar, Chairperson, Visions Corporation, said: “The UAE-India CEPA will not only help in increasing trade between the two countries but will also strengthen their bilateral relationship. This is a great opportunity to collaborate and work together towards boosting both our economies.”
As part of its Projects of the 50 initiative launched last year, the UAE embarked upon a program of enhancing bilateral trade relations with key partners around the world.
The UAE-India CEPA is the first bilateral trade accord concluded by the UAE. It is part of a series of bold initiatives launched to build a stronger, more resilient economic future.