India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will on Friday sign a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), with an aim to more than double the bilateral trade in goods to $100 billion within five years.
The first round negotiation was launched five months ago.
Under the trade deal, both countries are expected to give duty-free access to a large number of items across various sectors from April 1, officials said. “Duty for some (other) items will be reduced in a phased manner,” an official said, on condition of anonymity.
India-UAE CEPA will be the first of the bunch of trade agreements that India aims to ink with other developed nations over the next few months.
UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner and the second-largest export destination after the US. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE’s minister of state for foreign trade will be in New Delhi during the signing of the trade pact.
Separately, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan will hold a virtual summit on Friday.
“Both leaders are expected to lay out their vision of the historic and friendly relations between the two countries, at a time when India is celebrating 75 years of its Independence as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and UAE is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its foundation. The two leaders will also discuss bilateral cooperation and exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest,” an official statement said.
India’s items of interest are textiles, jewellery, footwear, leather products and handicrafts, while that on UAE’s side are fintech, food, medical equipment, petrochemical equipment and byproducts, among others.
India’s major exports to the UAE include petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery, minerals, food items such as cereals, sugar, fruits and vegetables, tea, meat, and seafood, textiles, engineering and machinery products, and chemicals. India’s top imports from the UAE include petroleum and petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery, minerals, chemicals and wood and wood products.