Arrests made at protests against UK arms sales to Israel

Arrests made at protests against UK arms sales to Israel
Arrests made at protests against UK arms sales to Israel

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - NEW DELHI: A broad trade and investment pact signed by India and the UAE two years ago has boosted bilateral trade by 16 percent, with India’s top business body seeing growth, especially in the innovation, energy and technology sectors.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed by India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and UAE Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri in February 2022.

It has been in effect since May 1, 2022, reducing tariffs on about 80 percent of all goods and providing zero-duty access to 90 percent of Indian exports.

The pact has since significantly advanced bilateral exchanges, as they registered a year-on-year increase of more than 16 percent, according to data from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, India’s largest and oldest trade association.

“In the first two years of CEPA’s operation, trade between the two countries has grown remarkably by 16.41 percent, showing an increase of total trade from $72.87 billion in 2021-2022 to $84.84 billion in 2022-2023,” FICCI Secretary-General S.K. Pathak told Arab News.

“Most of this growth has been registered in energy, infrastructure and construction, technology and innovation, pharma and healthcare, tourism and cultural exchanges.”

The agreement made the UAE emerge as India’s key partner in the Gulf Cooperation Council region, with both countries expecting to increase the total value of bilateral trade in non-petroleum products to over $100 billion and trade in services to $15 billion by 2030.

Citing the “growing importance of the trade relations between the two countries,” Pathak said the FICCI had “set up an office in to work closely with industry and government and support business to achieve the full benefits of CEPA.”

Supported by the UAE and Indian governments, the UAE-India CEPA Council was also established earlier this year to enhance investment, trade ties, and the implementation of the pact’s rules.

The UAE Embassy in India celebrated the second anniversary of the agreement with members of the business community in Mumbai, India’s financial hub.

UAE Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Shaali welcomed the growth in bilateral commercial exchanges as a “resounding success story,” solidifying the long-standing economic ties between the two countries.

“Over the past two years, we have witnessed remarkable growth in bilateral trade, a testament to the immense potential that exists when our complementary strengths are harnessed effectively,” he said during the event on Wednesday.

“The CEPA has not only opened new avenues for businesses to benefit from the bilateral partnership but has also fostered deeper integration of our economies, paving the way for increased investment flows and collaboration across diverse sectors.”

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