UAE economy minister leads delegation to India

The visit, from May 11-15, assumes significance as both the countries have implemented the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) on May 1



Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, UAE’s Minister of Economy.
Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, UAE’s Minister of Economy.
by

Issac John

Published: Mon 9 May 2022, 5:35 PM

Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, UAE’s Minister of Economy, will be leading a high-level business delegation to India this week to discuss ways to further promote trade and investments between the two countries, an official said.

The visit, from May 11-15, assumes significance as both the countries have implemented the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) on May 1.

The UAE Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises is also part of the delegation.

“It will be an important visit as we have implemented the free trade pact,” the official said. Cepa is expected to boost bilateral trade to $100 billion in the next five years from $60 billion at present.

The agreement, which came into force on May 1, will help India, a traditional trade partner of the UAE, succeed in further promoting ‘Make in India; Market to the World’ initiative and encourage OEM manufacturing of jewellery in the country for global brands in addition to boosting jewellery exports, creating employment and skill development opportunities in the country, said Ahmad.

On May 3, the first consignment of jewellery that India sent to the UAE under the Cepa was received by heads of private sector gold business. The shipment of three packages contained approximately $1 million worth of precious gems and jewellery, according to Sanjay Sudhi, Indian Ambassador to the UAE.

The first consignment was flagged by the commerce secretary BVR Subrahmanyam from New Delhi at zero duty. Before the CEPA implementation, traders had to pay a five per cent duty on imports.

According to Subramanyam, India imports 800 tonnes of gold every year. AS per the CEPA, India has given the UAE a tariff quota rate of 200 tonnes. Tariff in perpetuity will be 1.0 per cent less than tariff charged from rest of the world or on most favoured nation basis.

“India gets zero duty access to the UAE market on gems and jewellery. Five per cent duty on Indian jewellery is now zero, and the gems and jewellery sector is gung ho. This will lure international jewellery operators who are running their businesses from Singapore and Hong Kong to shift to India,” the Indian official said.

Colin Shah, chairman, of Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), said the Cepa with the UAE will help in boosting India’s jewellery exports to the Gulf region. “This is a significant step in achieving the Prime Minister’s vision of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025.”

Under the trade agreement, domestic exporters in various other sectors like textiles, agriculture, and dry fruits, are availing duty-free access to the UAE market. The delegation would visit Delhi and Mumbai and will hold discussions with industry leaders.

The nearly 70-member delegation represents different sectors such as food, special economic zones, sovereign wealth funds and civil aviation. The UAE is one of the largest trading partners of India and that country is a gateway to the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


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