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India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are all set to sign a trade and investment agreement on Friday during a virtual summit attended by the countries two leaders, Reuters reported.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the UAE de facto ruler Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will witness the signing of the UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The agreement will "usher in a new era of economic cooperation and unlock greater avenues for trade and investment," UAE state news agency WAM reported late on Wednesday. 

The two countries had formally launched negotiations on the pact in September last year, officially dubbed as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Under the agreement, two trading partners reduce or eliminate customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them. Besides, they liberalise norms to enhance trade in services and boost investments. This would be the second such agreement to be signed by the current government. 

Bilateral trade between India and the UAE stood at USD 43.3 billion in 2020-21. Exports were USD 16.7 billion and imports aggregated at USD 26.7 billion in 2020-21. Last week, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had said "we hope to make some announcements very quickly" on the India-UAE trade agreement.

Earlier, he had stated that the UAE is a gateway to all of Africa and many other parts of the world. The UAE also has a huge Indian diaspora, and a large market for products like textiles, gems and jewellery, leather, footwear and food items, which are labour oriented sectors, he had said.

Meanwhile, in February last year, India had inked the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) with Mauritius.

(With inputs from agencies)

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