Bilateral trade between India, UAE exceeds $49 billion after CEPA

A growth of 27.5 per cent terms has been witnessed along with a notable increase of Dh45.9 billion in value terms

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Nandini Sircar

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Published: Fri 17 Feb 2023, 11:43 PM

CEPA has had a very impressive impact on the UAE-India trade volumes with the bilateral trade between the two countries growing to Dh212.1 billion from Dh166.3 billion compared to the same period last year.

This effectively means during the first eight months from April-November 2022, a growth of 27.5 per cent terms has been witnessed along with a notable increase of Dh45.9 billion in value terms.

Marking a successful year of CEPA signing, a Special Business Event was organised In Dubai on Friday.

The event was organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in association with Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi, Consulate General of India, Dubai and Dubai Chambers, which also witnessed the participation of more than 200 leading businesses from India and the UAE.

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade spoke about the immense opportunities and advantages offered by CEPA reiterates, the impact of CEPA has been impressive. “We are still doing the analysis. The bilateral trade has surpassed $49 billion, surpassing the numbers of 2020 by 77 per cent. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce also reported that they have registered many Indian companies in 2022. We will do a full analysis by May 1 after the completion of one year of the full implementation of the agreement. The ultimate goal is to reach $100bn within five years for non-oil trade between both nationsand trade in services to $5 bn.”

He adds, “Several significant partnerships have been launched since May 2022 related to energy, food security, education and healthcare. Advanced technology, renewable energy, real estate, food security among many others. CEPA reflects these ambitions. All indications so far are positive.”

During the same period, India’s exports to the UAE have seen a remarkable growth of 19.32 per cent, reaching Dh76.3 billion from Dh64 billion marking an increase of Dh12.3 billion in value terms.

Stakeholders on both sides underlined both the UAE and India have already started leveraging upon the duty waivers and enhanced market access offered under the CEPA.

Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi, UAE says, “It's a glorious way forward. We have fingers already for the April to November 2022 period. We've already seen an increase in bilateral trade of about 30 per cent. India's exports have increased by about 19- 20 per cent. This I think the nominal because as the awareness grows about the benefits, we're also seeing a steep rise in the number of certificates of origin being issued on both sides. This means more and more trade. As trade increases more and more awareness increases, greater numbers of exporters on both sides join in creating a lot of new opportunities. Without naming anyone I’ve heard, some companies have started exporting a lot of manufactured goods from the UAE to India, which they never used to do before CEPA. So, it's giving rise to new opportunities and unexplored avenues.”

He adds, “We’ve already seen an increase in startups. CEPA also talks about the digital world and a lot of start ups are in the digital space. In the last several months there has been a huge influx of Indian startups into Abu Dhabi and Dubai.”

The CEPA entered into force on May 1, 2022. The agreement has been operating smoothly for over 10 months now.

Omar Khan, Executive Director - International Offices, Dubai International Chamber says, “Our pledge to you is that we are upgrading Dubai. We are improving the infrastructure as always about improving the economic system. We have about 320,000 members under our radar and we're working with them, including Indian business professional councils, to make Dubai a better, faster, more efficient and value adding ecosystem for your business growth. And not just for the GCC, we can accelerate your growth into emerging markets as well.”

Three sectors that have seen significant growth are the gems and jewellery sector, the agricultural sector as well as the engineering goods sector.

Reflecting on the growth of the Gems and Jewellery industry Chandu Siroya, Vice Chairman, Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, says, “In our company we have added 100 shipments in the last nine months. The total value is about Dh320 million approximately... about 2028 kilos of gold, only jewellery. I see an ease of doing business now. Earlier what happened was, my customers coming from America would place the order with my suppliers and then come back. Now, they don't need to do that. They bring their gold to Dubai. And they see it here under one roof. With CEPA, you can buy jewellery from all over India in Dubai. It’s duty free so it doesn’t matter if they buy from here or from India.”

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