The India-UAE Business Summit, an integral part of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024, witnessed landmark moments with the launch of the UAE–India CEPA Council website and a groundbreaking report on startup collaboration.
Mumbai, January 11, 2024 – The India-UAE Business Summit held today during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024 has played a crucial role in fortifying the robust economic partnership between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The summit saw the participation of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, who was also the chief guest at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, reinforcing the growing collaboration between the two nations.
Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi extended a warm welcome to H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, expressing gratitude for his tireless efforts to enhance India-UAE ties. The Inaugural Session witnessed keynote addresses from Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles (India), and H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economy (UAE). Special remarks were made by Shri Bhupendra Rajnikant Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat.
A significant moment during the summit was the ceremonial launch of the UAE–India CEPA Council (UICC) website by Shri Piyush Goyal, H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, and Shri Bhupendra Rajnikant Patel. The session also shed light on India’s flourishing startup ecosystem, with insights from Shri Kunal Bahl, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Startup Council and Co-founder of Snapdeal and Titan Capital.
The CII India-UAE Start-Up Initiative presented a report titled “Unlocking Opportunities: India-UAE Start-Up Ecosystem Convergence” during the summit. Chaired by Shri R Dinesh, President of CII and Chairman of TVS Supply Chain Solutions Limited, the inaugural session featured addresses from prominent figures such as H.E. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO of DP World, and M.A. Yusuff Ali, Chairman of Lulu Group International, expressing their interest in boosting investments in India’s food processing industry.
A focused discussion session at the India-UAE Business Summit delved into areas like trade finance, investment facilitation, and sectoral collaboration. Representatives from both the Indian and UAE governments and industries actively participated. The session also introduced the Bharat Mart, a proposed warehousing facility by India in the UAE to support Indian exporters.
Highlighting the economic strides, India-UAE trade surged to USD 85 billion in 2022, positioning the UAE as India’s third-largest trading partner for the year 2022-23 and its second-largest export destination. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), signed in February 2022, has played a pivotal role in this growth, reducing tariffs on over 80% of product lines and fostering new avenues for investment and joint ventures.
Bilateral trade has seen a significant uptick of approximately 15% since the CEPA came into effect on 1 May 2022. The ambitious goal of reaching US$100 billion in non-oil trade by 2030 is well underway, with the first 12 months of the CEPA witnessing bilateral non-oil trade reaching US$50.5 billion.
A noteworthy development in bilateral financial relations was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2023 for the establishment of a framework to promote the use of local currencies (INR-AED) for cross-border transactions. This initiative, aimed at developing the Local Currency Settlement System, reflects mutual confidence and underscores the resilience of both economies.
A significant highlight of the summit was the ceremonial launch of the UAE–India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) Council (UICC) website. Attended by key dignitaries including Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles (India), and H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economy (UAE), the launch marked a symbolic step towards streamlining trade and investment between the two nations.
In tandem with this, the summit witnessed the unveiling of a comprehensive report titled “Unlocking Opportunities: India-UAE Start-Up Ecosystem Convergence.” The report, an outcome of the CII India-UAE Start-Up Initiative, provides insights into the collaborative potential of the startup ecosystems in both countries. Shri Kunal Bahl, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Startup Council and Co-founder of Snapdeal and Titan Capital, shed light on the burgeoning opportunities and synergies between Indian and UAE startups.
Bilateral trade between India and the UAE has witnessed a notable surge, registering a remarkable 15% increase since the initiation of the India-UAE CEPA. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, signed in February 2022, has been instrumental in this uptick, reducing tariffs on a wide range of product lines and fostering a conducive environment for increased trade and investments. This remarkable growth reaffirms the strategic vision outlined in the CEPA, reflecting its effectiveness in enhancing economic collaboration.
As both nations set their sights on achieving the ambitious target of US$100 billion in non-oil trade by 2030, the success story of the CEPA serves as a testament to the efficacy of such agreements in driving economic prosperity. The summit provided a platform to celebrate the achievements of the CEPA and explore further avenues for collaboration, reaffirming the commitment of India and the UAE to building a robust and dynamic economic partnership.
The India-UAE Business Summit, held within the vibrant ambiance of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024, stands as a testament to the shared commitment of these nations to nurture economic ties and forge a path towards sustained mutual growth and prosperity.
The UAE-India Business Summit serves as a pivotal step in accelerating bilateral economic relations, charting a course for mutual growth and prosperity between the two nations.