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The UAE-India CEPA Council and Indian Chamber of Commerce seek to support Growth in ties between the UAE and Odisha

The UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC), in collaboration with the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), hosted a business roundtable with nearly 30 Odisha-based businesses to explore opportunities under the UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The UAE delegation was led by H.E. Dr. Abdulnasser Alshaali, the Ambassador of the UAE to India, and included Mr. Ahmed Aljneibi, Director of the UICC, Mr. Mohammad Haseeb, Strategic Country Manager – India, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), and Mr. Yogpal Singh, Director of Corporate Affairs, DP World.

H.E. Dr. Alshaali emphasized Odisha’s importance to the UAE, highlighting its advanced minerals and industrial sector and strong human capital. He expressed confidence that the event would help Odisha businesses capitalize on the economic, trade, and investment opportunities offered by CEPA.

Mr. Aljneibi noted the significant growth in trade between the UAE and Odisha, reaching USD 2.63 billion in the 2023-2024 fiscal year, making Odisha the UAE’s eighth-largest trading partner among India’s states and union territories. He emphasized the importance of continuing to build on this relationship and exploring new avenues for growth, with the UICC and ICC committed to supporting Odisha businesses in their international trade and investment goals.

Odisha is India’s largest producer of steel, stainless steel, ferroalloys, alumina, and aluminium, and holds significant reserves of nickel, bauxite, iron ore, and coal. Recent years have seen efforts to deepen investment and trade collaboration between the UAE and India.

In June 2022, several MoUs valued at USD 2.76 billion were signed between the Government of Odisha and UAE companies, including a commitment from the Lulu Group to explore establishing hypermarkets, shopping malls, and agriculture and seafood processing hubs in the state.

The CEPA has strengthened economic ties between the UAE and India, with bilateral trade reaching USD 83.64 billion for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. The agreement has led to substantial trade growth in sectors such as gems and jewellery, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and fruits and vegetables. The UAE is India’s second-largest export destination, third-largest trading partner, and fourth-largest investor.

Established in early 2024, the UICC has played a key role in leveraging the opportunities created by CEPA, driving billions of dollars in investments and enhancing business confidence across multiple industries. CEPA has facilitated easier market access, reduced trade barriers, and encouraged a dynamic exchange of goods and investments, leading to a diversified economic partnership between the UAE and India.

The UICC is committed to fostering open dialogue, tangible cooperation, and accelerating trade ties between UAE and Indian businesses to promote mutual growth and prosperity.

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