India-UAE CEPA to drive India’s economic growth: Goyal

Mumbai : Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Friday said the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) would drive India’s economic growth as the bilateral trade between the two countries can potentially hit USD 250 billion. The minister, who is in Mumbai, along with the Minister of Economy of UAE Abdullah Bin Touq Al Marri and a business delegation from the UAE, said that the CEPA also opens up larger opportunities even in the Gulf and the African region. The India-UAE CEPA, which came into effect from May 1 this year, is expected to boost bilateral trade and hit USD 100 billion within the next five years from the current USD 60 billion. “If a million jobs are added and if our exports, which are USD 36 billion now, grow as we are planning, my guess is this India-UAE partnership can go about to USD 250 billion on both sides. This will give a boost to economic growth,” Goyal said while addressing the media. He further said that the opportunities that the CEPA opens not only in the UAE but also in the larger Gulf or in the African region, should significantly pump up the Indian economy as well. Earlier in the day, the minister also launched the ‘India-UAE Startup Bridge’ that aims to act as a one stop platform where information regarding the Indian and UAE startup ecosystem will be easily accessible to entrepreneurs and stakeholders from both countries. The bridge aims at facilitating capacity building of incubators and also focus on bringing the investment houses from UAE in working closely with Indian venture capital and private equity houses, among others. “This bridge is a key step towards the formalisation of cooperation between India and the UAE on building stronger startup ecosystems in both countries through long term programs. This bridge is our commitment towards this mutual partnership,” Goyal said. Under the CEPA, domestic exporters of as many as 6,090 goods from sectors like textiles, agriculture, dry fruits, gems and jewellery, would get duty-free access to the UAE market. Similarly, India would allow duty-free access to 80 per cent of goods from the UAE now, which would go up to 90 per cent in 10 years.

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