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null H.E. Bin Touq discusses new prospects with Chief Minister of the Indian state of Kerala to strengthen joint cooperation frameworks

31 Jan 2022


H.E. Bin Touq discusses new prospects with Chief Minister of the Indian state of Kerala to strengthen joint cooperation frameworks


  • H.E. Bin Touq: Ongoing CEPA negotiations between the UAE & India will create a qualitative shift in bilateral relations & generate unprecedented trade and investment opportunities in both markets


  • Chief Minister of Kerala highlights strength & uniqueness of the trade & economic cooperation between UAE and India


H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, received Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of the Indian State of Kerala, at the Ministry headquarters in Dubai, in the presence of Sunjay Sudhir, Indian ambassador to the UAE; H.E. Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary of Foreign Trade Affairs at the Ministry; Mr. M.A. Yusuff Ali, Chairman of LuLu Group International, and several other major officials from both sides.

During his meeting with the visiting delegation, the Minister of Economy underlined the distinctive bilateral relations that bind the UAE and India. He noted that these close ties serve as a model for bilateral relations, built on the foundations of respect for common interests and a mutual desire to further develop them in line with both sides’ development agendas, while also fulfilling the growth aspirations of investors in both countries.

The meeting saw both parties review the strength of the existing cooperation between the two countries as well as the future opportunities, in light of the ongoing efforts to enhance the strategic partnership, particularly amid the ongoing talks to establish a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries.

H.E. Bin Touq said: "The understanding and rapprochement that bring the two countries together at the public and private sector levels are clearly reflected in the strength of the economic and trade partnership that we share. India is the UAE’s second largest global trading partner in 2021, accounting for 9% of the country's total trade with the world and receiving 13% of the UAE’s non-oil exports. At the same time, the UAE is India's third largest trading partner globally after America and China, and the first at the Arab level, as it accounts for more than 35% of India's trade with the Arab countries.

The non-oil foreign trade between the two countries in 2021 reached nearly AED 170 billion, with a growth of 66% compared to 2020 and 8% compared to that of 2019.

Both countries have achieved great progress in facilitating trade and economic exchanges, building further on their historic trade partnership. Over the past 10 years, the total value of non-oil foreign trade between the two countries exceeded AED 1.4 trillion. Meanwhile, mutual investments between the two sides were recorded at AED 60 billion by the end of 2019. India is currently the second largest investor in the UAE.

Mutual investments between the two countries span several vital sectors such as energy, renewable energy, logistics, air transport, food security, tourism, and agriculture.

H.E. added that the ongoing CEPA negotiations between the two countries will create a qualitative shift in bilateral relations as well as in the attractiveness of the business environment, significantly increasing investment and trade opportunities in the markets of the two countries.

Furthermore, the Minister of Economy reviewed the UAE’s vision of the new economic model for the next 50 years, which is clearly highlighted in the ‘Projects of the 50,’ the comprehensive revamping of the country's economic legislation, and the launching of a strategic and qualitative package of initiatives. He emphasized these measures’ importance in driving the shift towards a more flexible and sustainable economic model and opening up broader prospects for investment and business partnerships with the UAE’s global partners.

He explained that the country’s markets offer a wide range of options to investors today, especifically following the amendments to the Commercial Companies Law, which now allows for 100% foreign ownership of enterprises and companies in all economic activities and sectors, with the exception of limited activities with a strategic economic impact, thus enhancing the opportunities available to foreign investors. The Minister of Economy also noted that Indian companies and investors are key partners in the UAE’s growth journey and that the country is keen to continue this and help enhance their presence and expansion in its markets.

Meanwhile, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan emphasized the strength and uniqueness of the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, particularly within the Kerala state. He added that Kerala is among the most investor-friendly states in India and boasts a dynamic business environment and an attractive investment climate. In addition, he extended an invitation to H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq to embark on an official visit along with an economic and trade delegation from the UAE to Kerala to learn more about investment opportunities available there.

He added: "We are keen to strengthen our exports from Kerala to the UAE, particularly fruits, vegetables, processed food, coconuts, clothing, and traditional industrial products that characterize our State."

The Kerala Chief Minister praised the UAE and its wise leadership for their constant interest in developing relations with India and providing an ideal environment for the Indian community in the UAE to grow and flourish, particularly those from Kerala to whom the UAE is a second home.

The UAE and India announced the launch of constructive talks to establish a CEPA in September 2021, with an aim to strengthen trade relations, expand areas of economic cooperation and investment opportunities, and enhance trade and investment flows between them. The conclusion of this deal is expected to advance sustainable economic growth for both sides, increasing the value of UAE-India non-oil foreign trade from the current USD 40 billion per year to USD 100 billion per year within five years of the signing of the agreement.


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