Indian industry welcomes India-UAE trade pact
NEW DELHI: India’s industry bodies have welcomed India-United Arab Emirates (UAE) trade pact, citing it as an enabler to increase exports. In February, India and the UAE entered into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The agreement to boost bilateral trade is expected to be implemented within 60 days and entails enhanced market access and reduced tariff. It is expected that the CEPA will lead to an increase in bilateral trade from the current $60 to $100 billion in the next five years.
The India-UAE CEPA is the first bilateral trade accord concluded by the UAE, and is also India’s first bilateral trade agreement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. At present, UAE is India’s second largest export destination next only to the US. In the first nine months of the current financial year, India’s exports to the UAE have already crossed $20 billion. “CEPA with UAE will be extremely beneficial to Indian exports, particularly for the labour-intensive sectors like agriculture and processed food, including meat and marine products, gems and jewellery, apparel and textiles, leather and footwear as well as other sectors like engineering, organic chemicals, plastics, paper and paper products, iron and steel, electrical and electronics goods, automobile and auto components and pharmaceuticals,” said A. Sakthivel, President, Federation of Indian Export Organisations.
“The free trade agreement (FTA) will result in exponential growth in India’s exports to UAE and will also open the market to other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.” According to Engineering Export Promotion Council India Chairman, Mahesh Desai, “The India-UAE FTA will provide a major push to the engineering goods exports’ as a result of lowering of import duty on most items.” Besides, he said the import duty concessions are expected to allow the engineering exports to grow by 10 per cent in the first two years and then the average by nearly 15 per cent in the next three years.