190210 Prime Minister Narendra Modi
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit UAE in early January, a UAE minister revealed at the India Global Forum on Monday.

India and UAE are in the final stages of signing a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA), which will include deals across a wide range of sectors such as construction, logistics, hospitality and healthcare.

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“The negotiations are at a very advanced stage,” said Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade. “The aim is to conclude it before December 16 or 17 so that we can do the signing during Prime Minister Modi’s visit early next month”

Economic boost

Al Zeyoudi, citing government projections, said that even under the most conservative scenario, a successful bilateral trade will result in a $4 billion addition to UAE’s GDP. For India, the GDP boost will be even bigger at $7 billion.

“In all cases, there will be an added value from the CEPA to both the GDP as well as to the exports from both sides,” said Al Zeyoudi.

The agreement may also result in the creation of 300,000 jobs in UAE and around 3.5 million jobs in India, he said, adding that although such deals would result in lower customs revenue for the government, the added value to the economy would be “really huge.”