Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles, is on a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates. This is his third visit to the UAE as Minister of Commerce and Industry in the last 2 years, highlighting the importance that India attaches to its economic and commercial partnership with the UAE.
On the first day of his visit, the minister co-chaired the 11th meeting of the India-UAE High-level Task Force on Investments (HLTFI) with Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). The Task Force was established in 2013 to promote trade, investment and economic ties between India and the UAE. During the HLTFI meeting, the two leaders reviewed the existing bilateral investments by companies from both countries investing into the UAE and India and also explored bilateral investments in a number of key sectors with the potential for future joint trade and investment cooperation. These included infrastructure, energy, food security, green hydrogen and renewable energy, semiconductors, healthcare and startups. New initiatives like the India-UAE Start-Up Bridge and Abu Dhabi – India Virtual Trade Corridor were also considered.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a strategic partnership agreement between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Al Etihad Payments, a subsidiary of the Central Bank of the UAE. The partnership agreement, which aims to develop a National Card scheme for the UAE modelled on India’s RuPay card, further strengthens India’s position as a global leader in digital financial infrastructure.
Mr. Goyal and Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of Industry & Advanced Technology, also signed an MoU on cooperation in the fields of Industry and Advanced Technology. The MOU will promote cooperation in sectors such as space, healthcare, renewable energy, artificial intelligence, among others.
The two Ministers also held productive discussions with H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeoudi, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, where they reviewed the progress made on the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the UAE and India. The CEPA was a landmark achievement that was designed to spark a new era of cooperation between two nations with long-standing cultural, political and economic ties. Since the entry into force of CEPA in May 2022, bilateral trade has witnessed a spurt and has registered a growth of around 20% in the last one year.
To solidify their commitment to achieving a bilateral trade target of US $100 billion and maximizing the potential of the UAE-India relationship, the two ministers jointly led a roundtable discussion hosted by the Abu Dhabi Chamber. This forum brought together top business leaders from both nations, including a 15-member CEO delegation from the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and representatives from the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Chambers of Commerce, among other leading businesses. Mr. Goyal also met with the members of the recently established UAE-India Business Council (UAE Chapter), which consists of the CEOs of leading Emirati and Indian companies based in the UAE. The membership includes sectors such as logistics, civil aviation, sovereign wealth funds, start-ups, retail, financial services, apparel, eCommerce, banking, travel and tourism.
Mr. Goyal’s visit to the UAE is a sign of the growing economic and commercial ties between the two countries. The CEPA, the HLTFI and the UAE-India Business Council are all important platforms that will help to further boost trade and investment relations between India and the UAE.