India and the UAE look to more than double non-oil bilateral trade to USD 100 billion by 2030, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.
At present, the non-oil bilateral trade stands at USD 48 billion.
The new target was agreed upon during the first meeting of the Joint Committee of India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The agreement was implemented on May 1 last year.
“We have mutually agreed that let us now become more ambitious and instead of our earlier target of an overall USD 100 billion bilateral trade by 2030 … we shall now look at non-petroleum bilateral trade of USD 100 billion by 2030, which means doubling our non-petroleum trade from USD 48 billion today to USD 100 billion in the next seven years,” Goyal told reporters after the meeting.
The UAE is a major supplier of crude oil to India. Oil shipments account for a major share of bilateral trade between the countries.
He said that businesses from both sides were encouraged to further expand this trade and smooth implementation of the CEPA will help in this.
In the meeting, it was also agreed to set up various committees and sub-committees and technical councils with regard to the implementation of various provisions of the trade agreement such as trade in goods; customs facilitation; rules of origin; sanitary and phyto-sanitary and technical barriers to trade issues; trade remedies; investment facilitation; and economic cooperation.
A new sub-committee for handling matters related to trade in services would be set up and it was decided to exchange services trade data – both preferential and on MFN (most favoured nation) – on a quarterly basis.
“We have also agreed to set up an India-UAE CEPA Council that will serve as a vehicle for both governments and the export-oriented private sector to facilitate the implementation of CEPA by creating awareness and building partnerships, and organising business events in both countries,” Goyal said.
He added that this council would focus on areas such as MSMEs, startups, women entrepreneurs, services sector participants.
Further on the bilateral trade, Goyal said the two leaders have asked businesses to do more trade in the petroleum sector also.
India imports a lot of petroleum products and the UAE is its principal supplier, he said adding the UAE is also a large consumer of refined petroleum products.
“They are also large traders in refined products going beyond their own capacity. So I requested the UAE to encourage their companies to look at sourcing refined products more and more from India,” he added.
On investments, Goyal said that the country will soon see Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s (ADIA) set up in the GIFT city as most of the issues have been resolved.
It will accelerate inward investments into India and the investors from the UAE are looking to invest in sectors such as energy, emerging technologies, skills and education, food, healthcare, defence and startups.
Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said that the UAE will always be there as a trusted supplier of oil to India.
The trade agreement, he said, is helping Indian exports from sectors like textiles, footwear, automobiles and gems and jewellery, while UAE exporters are increasing shipments from iron and steel, aluminium and polymers.
Commenting on the agreement, Anindya Ghosh, Partner, IndusLaw, said that Indian companies are increasingly choosing the UAE to expand their businesses, due to a friendly taxation regime, large customer base with a high consumer adoption rate, and strategic location for global expansion.
Rudra Kumar Pandey, Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, said that in terms of investments from the UAE to India, the UAE is exploring opportunities in sectors like infrastructure, manufacturing and renewable energy.