UAE, India mark first anniversary of signing CEPA with series of events - GulfToday

UAE, India mark first anniversary of signing CEPA with series of events


Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi and Indian delegation during the launch of the UAE Chapter of the UAE-India Business Council in Dubai.

Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, has marked the first anniversary of the signing of the landmark UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) during two important events in the UAE, underlining the significance of the milestone to bilateral relations.

On Friday, Al Zeyoudi received a delegation from The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) comprised of more than 100 exporters, start-ups and business owners.

The delegation had travelled to the UAE for a four-day visit to celebrate the anniversary of the CEPA and to also explore the market, meet with buyers, and find potential new customers. In his remarks to the delegates, Dr Al Zeyoudi praised the efforts of the Federation in helping to realise India’s economic ambitions over the last century and for forging the business relationships that paved the way for the CEPA last year. “The UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is another step on a journey that first began with our foundation as a united, independent nation in 1971. And it’s remarkable how far we have both come. There is, in my mind, no better model of international cooperation than this modern, flexible and mutually beneficial deal, and I look forward greater collaboration and innovation as we begin to realise its full potential.”

Also speaking at the event was India’s Ambassador to the UAE, Sunjay Sudhir, who heralded the anniversary as a reflection of UAE-India ties.

“This is truly the golden era of our relationship, which have in many ways run in parallel over the last half century. The CEPA underlined how important our economies are to each other, and how much we look to the other for inspiration, support and opportunity. The impact of the CEPA is already being felt, but it’s clear we are only at the very beginning of this exciting new chapter.”Nirankar Saxena, Deputy Secretary General of FICCI, underscored how importance of the UAE to the Indian business community.

“The relationship between the UAE and India is both long-standing and deeply intertwined, and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement has now added an important new dimension. It has already opened the door to exciting new opportunities and is enabling the private sectors in both countries to innovate, scale and expand - not just regionally but globally.”

He later witnessed the launch of the UAE Chapter of the UAE-India Business Council in Dubai.

The UAE-India Business Council (UIBC) was established in September 2015 in New Delhi to serve as a catalyst for collaboration between the respective nations’ private sectors, and enable businesses from the UAE to seamlessly expand their reach into India’s growing market.

The UAE Chapter will, in turn, support Indian enterprises take full advantage of the many advantages and incentives offered by the UAE’s globally competitive ecosystem.The UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed on February 18, 2022, in New Delhi in the presence of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, and was the UAE’s first bilateral agreement and India’s first with a MENA-region nation.

Both nations believe that the UAE-India CEPA will push bilateral non-oil trade beyond $100 billion by the end of 2030.

The founding members of the UIBC-UC from the Indian side, large conglomerates such as TATA, Reliance, and Adani are represented, as well as tech innovators like Ola, Zerodha, Udaan, and EaseMyTrip, along with prominent Indian entrepreneur-led corporations based in the UAE such as KEF Holdings, Buimerc Corporation, Apparel Group, EFS and Lulu Financial. From the UAE side are: Mubadala - Sovereign Wealth Fund of the UAE, Wizz Financial, DP World, EMAAR, Emirates Airlines, Emirates NBD Bank.

The UIBC-UC is poised to play a crucial role in supporting both governments in achieving these objectives and maximising the potential of the UAE-India relationship. By leveraging the strong bond between the two nations, the council brings together key partners and stakeholders from both nations and will serve as a valuable source of policy guidance, fostering innovative collaboration between Emirati and Indian businesses.

Chairman KEF Holdings, Faizal Kottikollon, who has been appointed as the Chairman of UIBC-UC, said that “The council’s focus will be to identify significant strategic projects that can be undertaken by both countries. This includes investments in large infrastructure projects in India, advancements in manufacturing and technology, and providing Indian manufacturers with the ability to use the UAE as a base for their global expansion.”

CEO & MD (India Subcontinent) at DP World, Rizwan Soomar, will serve as the Co-Chairman of UIBC-UC.

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