UAE-India business travel set to change under liberal visa regime

Under the CEPA, a business visitor will get a 90-day visa, while a contractual service supplier can get a 90-day visa that can be extended. Intra-corporate transferees can get three-year visas under this pact. — AFP file photo
Under the CEPA, a business visitor will get a 90-day visa, while a contractual service supplier can get a 90-day visa that can be extended. Intra-corporate transferees can get three-year visas under this pact. — AFP file photo

India will get duty-free access to its mobile phones under the CEPA, while the 40 per cent value addition norms in its imports will protect Indian players.



by

Issac John

Published: Mon 21 Feb 2022, 6:59 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Feb 2022, 7:02 PM

Business travel between the UAE and India is set to change under the liberalised visa regime agreed as part of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed last week.

India’s Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said the new visa regime includes a three-year visa provision for intra-corporate transfers, a 90-day visa for business visitors, and a 90-days plus extendable visa contractual service suppliers.

There are three or four categories of people such as business visitors, contractual service providers, and intra-corporate transferees under the liberalised visa regime. “There are provisions where the visa regime has either become more liberal than what they have currently or it freezes the current regime. That means that they can’t go back once they have given the concession in the FTA,” Subrahmanyam was quoted by the Indian media.

Under the CEPA, a business visitor will get a 90-day visa, while a contractual service supplier can get a 90-day visa that can be extended. Intra-corporate transferees can get three-year visas under this pact. There is a separate chapter on the movement of natural persons.

While India has excluded sectors under the Large-scale Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, mobile phones are part of the agreement as New Delhi needs to leverage its manufacturing to gain market share in the UAE and Africa. India will get duty-free access to its mobile phones under the CEPA, while the 40 per cent value addition norms in its imports will protect Indian players, according to Subramanyam.

In the services category, India has given concessions in 100 sectors and the UAE has given concessions in 111. There will be a lot of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) between the two parties and CEPA facilitates the conclusion of MRAs.

Apparel Export Promotion Council chairman Narendra Goenka said that CEPA will further strengthen India's dominant position as a leading supplier in the UAE. With India supplying $1.515 billion of apparel to the UAE as against its total imports of $3.517 million, Indian apparel exports contribute a decent share of 43 per cent. The trade pact would result in a drop of five per cent import duty for Indian readymade garments. This will further strengthen the dominant position of Indian apparel exports in the UAE, Goenka said.

He added that Indian apparel exports to the UAE also cater to the needs of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and the UK.

Plastics Export Promotion Council of India chairman Arvind Goenka said that currently, India's annual imports of plastic raw materials are USD 14 billion and imports from the UAE are USD 800 million, so trade for plastics between India and the UAE is poised for a multi-fold growth due to this pact besides creation of about 200,000 jobs in the sector.

"India's MSME industry will be the main beneficiary. Availability of cheaper raw materials as preferential import duty being offered by India will empower them to compete against cheap imports of finished plastic goods. Preferential access to the UAE market will increase plastics exports by at least 300 per cent by 2023-24," Goenka said. — issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


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