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Trade deal: India and the UAE are likely to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) on February 18, news agency PTI reported on Monday. Under the deal, both the countries could give duty-free access to a number of products from different sectors.

In September last year, Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal and his counterpart Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi had formally launched negotiations on the India-United Arab Emirates Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Under FTA, two trading partners reduce or eliminate customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them. Also, they liberalise norms to enhance trade in services and boost investments.

"The India-UAE agreement is ready and it would be signed on February 18," the news agency quoted a source as saying.

Bilateral trade between India and the UAE stood at $43.3 billion in 2020-21. Exports were $16.7 billion and imports aggregated at $26.7 billion in 2020-21.

Speaking on India-UAE trade deal, Piyush Goyal last week had said "we hope to make some announcements very quickly". Recently, he said 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. 

The commerce ministry in September last year said the UAE is currently India’s third-largest trading partner with bilateral trade in 2019-2020 valued at $59 billion. The UAE is also India’s second-largest export destination after the US, with exports valued at approximately $29 billion in 2019-2020. 

India was the UAE’s second-largest trading partner in 2019, with bilateral non-oil trade valued at $41 billion. The UAE is the eighth-largest investor in India, having invested $11 billion between April 2000 and March 2021, while investment by Indian companies in the UAE is estimated to be over $85 billion.

India's major exports to the UAE include petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery, minerals, food items such as cereals, sugar, fruits and vegetables, tea, meat, and seafood, textiles, engineering and machinery products, and chemicals. 

India's top imports from the UAE include petroleum and petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery, minerals, chemicals and wood and wood products. India imported $10.9 billion of crude oil from the UAE in 2019-2020.

 

 

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