India-UAE trade deal enters into force

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The Free Trade Agreement between India and the United Arab Emirates entered into force on Sunday, under which domestic exporters from various sectors such as textiles, agriculture, dried fruits, gemstones and jewelry will enjoy duty-free access to the UAE market.

In a symbolic gesture of operationalizing the deal, BVR Commerce Secretary Subrahmanyam handed over certificates of origin to three exporters in the gemstone and jewelery sector here. These shipments to Dubai will incur no customs duties under the pact, which is officially called the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and the General Directorate of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issued relevant notifications for the operationalization of the agreement from May 1.

”Today, the CEPA between India and the United Arab Emirates comes into force. Today we are sending the first consignment from India to the United Arab Emirates, which will benefit from this agreement,’ Subrahmanyam said here.

The United Arab Emirates is India’s second or third largest trading partner and the country is a gateway to the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, it said. he noted.

The trade pact will help boost bilateral trade to $100 billion in five years from $60 billion currently.

“$100 billion is just the start… As it goes, it will become $200 billion and then $500 billion in the years to come,” the secretary said, adding that 99% of ”our exports will go duty free to the UAE”.

The gemstone and jewelery sector accounts for a substantial share of Indian exports to the UAE and stands to benefit significantly from the tariff concessions secured for Indian products under this pact.

Overall, India will benefit from the preferential market access granted by the UAE on over 97% of its tariff lines (or goods), which accounts for 99% of India’s exports to the UAE in terms of of value – especially in labour-intensive sectors. such as textiles, leather, footwear, sporting goods, plastics, furniture and engineered products.

Emphasizing the need for Indian products to be competitive in the international market, the secretary said there was a need to build and increase domestic capabilities. He also informed that India was negotiating trade deals at a very fast pace with complementary economies including the UK, Canada and the EU. Exports of goods and services account for around 22-23% of India’s GDP, Subrahmanyam noted.

“Our vision is that we should bring India to a point where 25-30% of our GDP comes from exports,” he added. He said the Department of Commerce has also strengthened to be future-ready and meet tomorrow’s challenges with a focus on promoting trade. ”We are going to overhaul the department. You’re going to change in the next few months… We’re going to set up a huge trade promotion wing,” the secretary said, adding that the focus would also be on data, data analytics and market intelligence.

On trade pacts, he said that there are bilateral agreements and both parties should feel that they got something.

The UK, Canada and the EU are all developed economies and they have huge potential for the kind of things ‘we make’ like clothing, whole textiles, leather, chemicals, gems and jewelry, noted the secretary.

Furthermore, he said the ministry was analyzing many trade pacts and trying to fix them.

”We plan to sum up, simplify the deal (with UAE for industry) and put them in easy batches so everyone can know where I have the edge if I go through this FTA . We will do this before the end of May,” he added.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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