Dubai: Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Monday expressed hope that India and UAE will achieve USD 250 billion in bilateral trade in goods and services.
“We are not in the game for a 100-billion-dollar trade in 2030. We are in the game for maybe 100 billion dollars each way in the next 6-7 years. We are in the game for at least 250 billion dollars’ bilateral trade in goods and services,” Piyush Goyal said at a press conference here.
“We have opened up services in a big way. The growing role of services in both economies will give a big thrust to our bilateral engagements in the years to come,” he added.
Goyal had earlier announced the unveiling of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). India-UAE CEPA was signed on February 18 in New Delhi during the India-UAE Virtual Summit.
He termed the agreement as the ‘defining strategic partnership of the 21st century’.
The minister said that the agreement sets the tone for the new direction, a paradigm shift in the India-UAE relationship.
“A journey that started with an interim agreement covering maybe 100-200 lines culminated in a comprehensive economic partnership with many firsts to its credit. The time taken for it was only 88 days,” he said.
UAE Trade Minister Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi underlined the importance of CEPA.
Thanking, UAE Trade Minister, Goyal said no issue had been left pending by the UAE leadership concerning the agreement.
“There was never an issue which was kept pending, resolving them on a real-time basis, that’s the leadership Dr Thani demonstrated, which in a way we are celebrating today. We have released that text yesterday. It has all been timed beautifully by our leaders and by our teams. The entire text is in the public domain,” he said.
Goyal added that the CEPA agreement between India and UAE will become the template for several more agreements
“It’s one of the most outstanding agreements and I promise you, it will become the template for several more which UAE may do, that India may do, that other third countries may do. This will be emulated,” Goyal said.
The minister said India and UAE will take this deal to newer heights. “It’s not about trade, goods and services. It has a huge geopolitical, economic and also in some sense a great humane element to it, given the huge presence of Indian diaspora in the UAE.”
“We will take this relationship to newer heights. It was a very arduous journey, with sleepless nights. It was a humongous effort across the government in the UAE and in India — getting agreements, fine-tuning the offers, 800 odd-pages legal texts, which is not going to live for five years or 10 years. In fact, it will outlive all of us. It had to be carefully drafted, word by word, every comma could have made a significant difference. So, truly a herculean task, with a smile, not a single complaint, never something which was a deal-breaker,” he added.