The United Arab Emirates and India have signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement that is expected to boost bilateral trade to over $100 billion within the next five years.

Iran PressMiddle East: The UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (UAE-India CEPA) is the first bilateral trade accord concluded by the UAE and India’s first bilateral trade agreement in the Middle East and North Africa region. 

“India is one of our most important strategic partners and this deal brings us closer than ever before,” UAE de facto leader, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said during a virtual summit with India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Friday. 

The partnership marks a deepening of ties between the UAE and India. The UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner, and bilateral trade is expected to surpass $60 billion in the current financial year.  India also ranks as the UAE’s number one trading partner for non-oil exports, accounting for nearly 14% of the UAE’s total non-oil exports globally. 

In addition to growing bilateral trade in goods to over $100 billion within the next five years, the deal is also expected to boost trade in services to over $15 billion. The minister said he expects the deal to grow UAE GDP by 1.7% in the upcoming ten years, boost exports, and create more than 140,000 jobs. 

Sectors set to benefit, according to the minister, include business services, telecommunications, construction and development, education, the environment, the financial sector, health services, tourism, hospitality, and maritime and air transport services, among others.

The latest agreement comes amid a rush of diplomatic and economic deal-making in the Emirates. The UAE signed a similar economic pact with Turkey this week, seeking to mend regional ties to enhance its economic recovery. The UAE is also in the final stages of signing agreements with Israel and Indonesia and aims to expand bilateral trade ties with the Philippines in the year ahead.