India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on February 18, 2022. The objective was to increase merchandise trade between the two countries to $100 billion over next five years. The agreement came into force in May 2022, and according to latest figures, since then to March 2023, India-UAE trade has increased by 14 percent.
During the CEPA implementation period bilateral trade between the two countries increased to $76.9 billion from $67.5 billion during May 2021 to March 2022. The UAE has traditionally remained a major export market for India, and now India's exports to the UAE stands at $28.5 billion (from $26.2 billion) during the CECA implementation period. During the same period, India's global exports, excluding the UAE, grew only at 3.1 percent.
These figures show that a well thought-out trade pact can make a great difference. The India-UAE CECA, signed between our Prime Minister and the President of the UAE, was finalized in a record time of just 88 days and it also came into force in less than 3 months. This shows the emphasis both sides placed on the comprehensive trade pact, and now the result is before us.