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India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 18 signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Under the agreement, both the countries agreed to boost trade to $100 billion in the next five years.

An agreement to cut import duties on a wide range of products was also signed. Moreover, both nations have decided to establish a joint hydrogen task force to scale up technology.

Under the CEPA, work on a dedicated investment zone for UAE companies and a joint venture to focus on setting up a food corridor would be expedited. Dedicated India Mart Jebel Ali Free Zone and Indian Institute of Technology in the UAE were other decisions taken during the meet.

Commenting on the pact, the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said: "Interim deal to come into effect in 2-3 months. Sixty percent of products will get direct access immediately. Indian professionals and businesses wanting to move to the UAE will get expedited access."

The Indian delegation was led by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, while the UAE delegation was led by Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri and Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.

The CEPA is the first major trade deal signed by the Narendra Modi government since first coming to power in 2014.

Here are the key numbers:

1) Bilateral trade between India and the UAE stood at $43.3 billion as of 2020-21 and is spread across thousands of traded items.

2) Negotiations on the deal have been completed in a record time of just 88 days.

3) The CEPA, which comprises an 880-page document, covers topics such as free trade, digital economy, government procurement, and strategic areas.

4) The deal is expected to come into effect by the first week of May since the process will take about 60 days.

5) CEPA will add to 1.7 percent or $8.9 billion to the UAE's GDP. Also, raise the Gulf nation's exports by 1.5 percent.