UAE, India FMs discuss food security, trade growth from CEPA during New Delhi visit

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UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed discussed energy, food security and the growth of bilateral trade after the recent CEPA agreement with his Indian counterpart Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two nations was signed on February 18. It is expected to boost annual bilateral non-oil trade from $60 billion to $100 billion within the next three to five years, the Indian Prime Minister’s office said at the time.

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India’s exports to the UAE between April and September were about $16 billion which was an increase of 24 percent year-on-year. India’s imports increased 38 percent to reach $28.4 billion in the same time period, the external affairs ministry said.

“We are seeking to boost our economic cooperation to achieve our ambitious goal of raising our non-oil trade value to around US$100 billion in the next five years, Sheikh Abdullah was quoted as saying by the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

As part of the CEPA agreement, the two diplomats also discussed bolstering collaboration in the health and technology sectors.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi has reportedly held meetings with its Abu Dhabi partner, ADEK for establishing a campus in Abu Dhabi.

On November 16, Indonesian President Joko Widodo passed on the presidency of the G-20 to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the group’s annual summit concluded in Bali.

New Delhi is set to officially assume its role as the lead of the Group of Twenty in December, presiding for most of 2023 and hosting the summit in September 202 – its theme – One Earth, One Family, One Future.

In light of this change of presidency, Sheikh Abdullah and Jaishankar discussed India's priorities as the president of G20, and “ways to enhance the UAE's participation in the Group's activities, serving as a guest country for the second consecutive year, as well as boosting the contributions of the private sector in both countries to the G20's activities…” WAM reported.

“They also reviewed the prospects of the UAE-India cooperation at the level of multilateral groups and organizations, be it through existing partnerships such as the I2U2 Group, or future cooperation opportunities with BRICS, an informal grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” the report added.

The UAE delegation included: Reem bint Ibrahim al-Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation; Dr. Abdul Nasser al-Shaali, UAE Ambassador to India; Saeed Mubarak al-Hajeri, Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC); and Omran Anwar Sharaf al-Hashemi, Assistant Minister for Advanced Sciences and Technology Affairs at MoFAIC.

Both ministers also exchanged views on global issues and discussed cooperation between the two countries in the UN Security Council.

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