Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal urged industry leaders to be proactive in giving inputs to the government on matters like FTA negotiations…reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and UAE is nearing conclusion, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal told the heads of top business and industry associations in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Responding to the keen interest shown by India’s business leaders in the progress of the negotiations, Goyal said, “the government was striving to conclude several early harvest agreements with countries so that their benefits could reach the industry soon.

He urged industry leaders to be proactive in giving inputs to the government on matters like FTA negotiations. “Industry should become more demanding,” the Minister added. “Business and industry associations should give suggestions for further decriminalisation of rules and reduction of compliance burdens wherever feasible.”

He expressed confidence of growth in services exports, in spite of travel and tourism restrictions caused by the pandemic. “By and large, economic activities are not being impacted by the current COVID-19 surge.”

Nineteen business and industry associations, both national and sectoral, attended the meeting with the Minister, which was convened to exchange ideas to ensure the continuation of a fast rebound of economic activities and high growth rates in the light of a surge in Coronavirus infections.

In December, Goyal discussed with industry leaders in Mumbai and heads of Export Promotion Councils how to make use of opportunities available for them to expand their global footprint by leveraging business platforms and infrastructure offered by the UAE.

Goyal told industrialists and export facilitators in India’s commercial capital that the “UAE is the gateway to the GCC and to all of Africa. Our goal is to become the number one trading partner of the UAE.”

ALSO READ: India-UAE trade volume to touch $100 billion in 5-8 years

The Minister shared his vision of the “highly favourable outcomes” to be expected from the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which is in the advanced stages of negotiation. “There is a lot of good news coming up, across several sectors, as we negotiate and finalize this agreement with the UAE.”

Goyal shared three undercurrents reflecting the present state of India-UAE friendship.

“The UAE is celebrating the 50th year of its foundation and India is celebrating the 75th year of its independence. Secondly, UAE has committed $100 billion for investment and infrastructure creation in India. And thirdly, the UAE-India CEPA will be India’s fastest-negotiated Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the fastest-negotiated CEPA ever between two nations, which also gives the maximum opportunity for Indian business.”

Dubai’s investments in J&K

UAE-INDIA Flag

The volume of the bilateral trade between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is tipped to increase from $60 billion to $100 billion in the next 5-8 years in tune with the growing partnership between the two countries.

Elaborating on the potential of collaboration between India and the UAE, Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, the UAE ambassador in India, said at one of the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s Kashmir promotion events in Dubai last week: “India is the second largest trading partner for the United Arab Emirates and UAE is the third largest trading partner for India after the United States of America and China. Our total Foreign Trade figures reached about USD 60 billion in 2019-2020. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the United Arab Emirates and India will be crucial in deepening the ties between India and UAE. We are hoping that CEPA will increase our bilateral trade from USD 60 billion to USD 100 billion in the coming 5 to 8 years”.

“Ever since the Government of India announced the historic administrative changes in 2019, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has become the latest success story among Indian states as a model of economic and social development. India and UAE are each other’s largest trading partners. And soon, CEPA will be signed, which certainly has the potential to catapult our economic engagement to a very different trajectory altogether,” the Indian ambassador in the UAE, Sunjay Sudhir, said.

“Jammu & Kashmir has moved from a sleeping business destination to the land of opportunities and investment. The Union Territory received investment proposals worth Rs 45,000 crore and additional Rs 18,300 crore in the real estate sector and showcased the enormous opportunities and business potential in the region”, LG Sinha observed.

Jammu & Kashmir has signed 5 MoUs with Al Maya Group, MATU Investments LLC, GL Employment Brokerage LLC, Century Financial and Noon E-commerce and one Letter of Interest between Magna Waves Pvt. Ltd along with Emaar Group and Lulu International. (with reports from WAM and Indianarrative)

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