India, UAE Aim for $100 Billion in Non-Oil Trade by 2030

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President, Sanjiv Bajaj, expressed confidence that non-oil trade between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could reach $100 billion by 2030. He described the target as ambitious but achievable, highlighting significant business opportunities in various sectors like textiles, jewelry, and pharmaceuticals.

The current trade volume between the two nations stands at around $45 billion, with oil exports from the UAE forming a substantial portion. However, both countries are actively pursuing diversification efforts to foster a more balanced and robust economic partnership.

Bajaj's optimism stems from several key factors. Firstly, the deep-rooted historical and cultural ties between India and the UAE provide a strong foundation for collaboration. Secondly, the growing Indian economy presents a vast and attractive market for UAE businesses. India's rising middle class, coupled with its ongoing infrastructure development, creates significant demand for various goods and services.

Furthermore, the UAE's strategic location and well-developed logistics infrastructure make it a vital trade gateway for Indian products seeking access to the Middle East, Africa, and beyond. This geographical advantage, combined with the UAE's free trade agreements with numerous countries, opens up lucrative opportunities for Indian exporters.

Several initiatives are already underway to propel India-UAE trade towards the $100 billion target. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), signed in February 2022, aims to eliminate or significantly reduce tariffs on over 80% of bilateral trade, streamlining customs procedures and fostering trade in services.

Additionally, the establishment of dedicated corridors for specific sectors, such as food security and energy, is expected to further expedite trade flows. These corridors will involve streamlined regulatory frameworks, facilitating faster movement of goods and reducing logistical bottlenecks.

Beyond traditional trade, both India and the UAE are actively exploring avenues for collaboration in new-age sectors like artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. These partnerships hold immense potential to create a future-proof economic relationship that extends beyond mere merchandise trade.

While achieving the $100 billion target will require sustained efforts from both sides, the strong political will, growing economic ties, and ongoing diversification initiatives suggest that this ambitious goal may well be within reach.

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