India and the United Arab Emirates are likely to sign a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on Friday during a virtual meeting between the leaders of the two sides.
The trade agreement is India’s first such trade deal in the Gulf region and is likely to cover areas such as goods, services, rules of origin, government procurement and investment. The two sides began the first round of the negotiations on the CEPA in September last year.
“The CEPA could be signed later this week, most likely Friday,” said an official, who did not wish to be identified.
The UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner, with bilateral trade amounting to nearly $60 billion in 2019-20. It was India’s second-largest export destination after the United States, with an export value of about $29 billion.
In December last year, the UAE lifted a ban on import of eggs and other poultry products from India, conceding a long-standing demand.
The UAE is part of the Gulf Cooperation Council, with which India is in talks for a separate trade agreement.
India's major exports to the UAE include petroleum products, gems and jewellery, minerals, cereals, sugar, fruit and vegetables, tea, meat, seafood, textiles, engineering and machinery products, and chemicals. India's top imports include petroleum and petroleum products, precious metals and stones.