Modi’s visit to the UAE sparks optimism for achieving the target of USD 100 billion in bilateral trade ahead of schedule.

Abu Dhabi, Feb 14 (PTI): Following the signing of the significant Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) expressed optimism on Wednesday about elevating bilateral trade to USD 100 billion “well ahead of the target year of 2030.”

In a joint statement after extensive discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Tuesday, the two nations commended the efforts to strengthen robust economic and commercial cooperation while exploring new avenues of collaboration.

The UAE stands as India’s third-largest trading partner for the year 2022-23 and is India’s second-largest export destination. Likewise, India holds the position of the UAE’s second-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching USD 85 billion in 2022-23.

The leaders attributed this “significant growth” to the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which came into effect on May 1, 2022.

“In this context, the leaders expressed optimism regarding the elevation of bilateral trade to USD 100 billion well ahead of the target year 2030. They also welcomed the formal establishment of the UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC), a significant development in the bilateral trade partnership,” the joint statement read.

Additionally, it highlighted eight bilateral agreements, including the Bilateral Investment Treaty and the Inter-Governmental Framework Agreement on the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC).

The leaders expressed satisfaction with progress across various sectors, noting significant expansion in the partnership between both nations over the years.

Discussions revolved around enhancing bilateral partnerships in the energy sector, encompassing oil, gas, and renewable energy. Recent long-term LNG supply agreements between ADNOC Gas and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) were acknowledged as significant milestones.

“These agreements signify the commencement of a new chapter in energy cooperation between the two countries, with both leaders encouraging further exploration of such opportunities. Moreover, both sides agreed to advance cooperation in hydrogen, solar energy, and grid connectivity,” the statement added.

The leaders welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Electricity Interconnection and Trade, emphasizing its role in enhancing energy cooperation and connectivity, in line with Prime Minister Modi’s initiative “Green Grids – One Sun One World One Grid” launched during COP26.

During his two-day visit to the Gulf region, Modi engaged with the Indian diaspora participated in the prestigious World Governments Summit, and inaugurated the UAE’s first Hindu stone temple, among other engagements.

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