Historic UAE-India CEPA trade deal comes into force on May 1

The agreement went live with the first consignment of goods comprising gems and jewellery flagged off to Dubai



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sun 1 May 2022, 9:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 2 May 2022, 6:36 AM

The historic UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) came into force on Sunday (May 1).

The trade deal went live with the first consignment of goods comprising gems and jewellery being flagged off to Dubai during an event held in New Delhi.

According to the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the first consignment to Dubai will not attract any customs duty. The ministry noted that the gems and jewellery sector contributes a "substantial portion" of India's exports to the UAE and is expected to benefit significantly from the tariff concessions.

During the ceremony, B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, Commerce Secretary, Government of India, handed over Certificates of Origin to three exporters: Siroya Jewellers, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, and Emerald.

He said that coming into effect of the agreement signed on February 18 was a “momentous occasion”.

“The agreement was an outcome of the vision of the leaders of the two nations. The agreement is a trendsetter because of the short time in which it was negotiated.”

On February 18, India and the UAE inked the agreement following a virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Subrahmanyam stressed that the agreement has potential to achieve a bigger trade volume than the projected target of $100 billion in the next five years.

"Although the agreement had envisioned a target of $100 billion worth of trade, given the size of India's market and the access that UAE would give to India, much more could be achieved. For India, UAE would be a gateway to the world," Subrahmanyam pointed out.

'UAE delegation to visit India'

Keeping the momentum, a high-level ministerial and business delegation will be visiting India this month, a spokesperson from the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi told Khaleej Times.

"Gems and jewellery is a big sector for bilateral trade. It contributes a major portion of Indian exports to the UAE," a spokesperson said.

"Soon, there will be a lot of delegations going from the UAE to India. There will be ministerial and business delegations going to India this month," the spokesperson added.

India will benefit from preferential market access provided by the UAE on over 97 per cent of its tariff lines which account for 99 per cent of Indian exports to the UAE in value terms particularly from labour-intensive sectors such as gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, footwear, sports goods, plastics, furniture, agricultural and wood products, engineering products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and automobiles.

Abu Dhabi holds CEPA workshop

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), in partnership with the UAE's Ministry of Economy (MoE), organised a workshop for private sector companies to benefit from the agreement.

"India is amongst the top trade partners of Abu Dhabi and UAE and is one of the largest markets bearing growth opportunities for different sectors. UAE-India CEPA will enhance bilateral trade and open new markets to Abu Dhabi based private sector companies," said Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED.

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The agreement covers 11 service sectors and over 100 sub-sectors to stimulate flows between the two markets by eliminating custom tariffs on nearly 80 per cent of goods.

"Abu Dhabi continues to strengthen its position as a regional and global hub for trade, business, and investment. We launched various initiatives to facilitate trade and ensure ease of doing business by reducing costs and requirements, simplifying procedures, and enabling seamless integration of government services," Al Blooshi underlined.

The workshop, addressed by foreign trade experts and business leaders, discussed the main targeted areas of the agreement, including goods, services, rules of origin/preferential certificate of origin, and safeguard measures.


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