Tribune press service

New Delhi, February 15

India and the UAE will sign a free trade agreement in a virtual ceremony chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan around the weekend. end. It will be the first FTA to be signed by the Modi government which has criticized previous ones as having been detrimental to its economy and balance of trade.

The government hopes the FTA will lead the UAE to invest more in the national infrastructure pipeline, with officials estimating the amount at $100 billion if the necessary enabling conditions are in place.

India and the United Arab Emirates had planned to sign this pact in January this year when Prime Minister Modi had planned to visit Dubai. However, the visit was postponed due to the third wave of Covid in India and then it was resolved to sign the pact in March. But it was not pushed back to February as the two sides were keen to kick off their economic partnership as a prelude to greater cooperation in the new Quad of the West comprising India, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and the United States. United.

By the end of the year, the government intends to sign three trade pacts with the United Arab Emirates (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement), the United Kingdom (Enhanced Trade Partnership) and Australia ( global economic cooperation). India is also negotiating trade agreements with Canada (CEPA), Israel (FTA), Indo-Eurasian Economic Union (FTA), European Union (Trade and Investment Agreement) and Customs Union of South Africa (EFA). The eight FTAs ​​aim to boost exports. India has set a target of $500 billion in exports by FY2023.

India recently held trade talks with the UK during which Trade Minister Piyush Goel held talks with UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan. New Delhi wants to link the movement of professionals to Great Britain in return for lower import tariffs in certain regions.