Team Blitz India
NEW DELHI: India and the UAE have recently set up Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) Council to strengthen economic ties between both countries. The launch of the Council at the UAE-India Business Summit on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit shows the importance the leaders of the two countries attached to growing bilateral ties.
One of the significant highlights of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit was the participation of UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as chief guest.
The theme of the business summit was “Two Nations, One Vision”. It was attended by high- level delegations of senior government officials of both the countries.
Speaking on the occasion, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, said the Council “is a testament to the shared vision of creating a dynamic and resilient economic relationship, driving sustainable growth, and prosperity for both the nations.”
Similarly, India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal noted that the UAEIndia Business Summit, showcased the multi-layered nature of the bilateral economic relationship.
Ever since the signing of the CEPA in 2022, bilateral trade between the UAE and India has risen significantly. In 2022-2023, the bilateral trade value was estimated at $84.9 billion.
Both countries have set a target of $100 billion for bilateral trade between them. The UAE’s investments in India have increased in recent years and the former is likely to make significant investments in India’s infrastructure sector.
MoUs were signed between both sides in food processing, energy and healthcare. The MoUs in food processing and renewable energy sync in with I2U2 (US, Israel, UAE and India), a US-led initiative also dubbed as Middle Eastern Quad.
The visit of the UAE President underscored the strengthening ties between India and the UAE given the growing economic convergence between both countries.
From a geopolitical dimension, it is interesting to note that both India and the UAE are part of the US-driven I2U2. At the same time, both countries have also maintained robust economic ties with Russia – despite US Sanctions in the aftermath of the RussiaUkraine conflict.
The UAE was amongst the five countries which recently entered the China- dominated BRICS+ grouping (touted by some as an alternative to G20).
In recent years, the UAE’s growing proximity with China has resulted in strain between Abu Dhabi and Washington. It would also be pertinent to point out here that both India and the UAE have been at the forefront pushing for dedollarisation due to US sanctions on Russia.
In July 2023, both countries had signed an agreement for the use of local currencies for cross-border transactions and in December 2023, India made its first payment in rupees for the purchase of crude oil from the UAE.