- Recently, a formal negotiations for the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) kicked off
- The pact was a natural extension of traditionally strong bilateral ties, and exuded confidence about meeting the March 2022 deadline for the CEPA.
- The UAE is well known as a trade hub for the region, and India has managed to transform these trade capabilities and skills to build more advanced, state of the art infrastructure in roads, ports, airports, logistics and supply chain infrastructure like warehouses and storages.
- Gems and jewellery and petroleum products are the traditional mainstay of the India-UAE trade relationship.
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- The UAE is pursuing similar trade and economic partnership deals with countries such as the U.K.Turkey, Kenya and South Korea.
- The UAE is hopeful that the CEPA, combined with easier investment flows, will enable the two countries’(India-UAE_ businesses to tap global opportunities together, given their synergies and complementarities in different sectors.
About Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement:
- It is a kind of free trade pact which covers negotiation on the trade in services and investment, and other areas of economic partnership. It may even consider negotiation on areas such as trade facilitation and customs cooperation, competition, and Intellectual Property Rights.
- Partnership agreements or cooperation agreements are more comprehensive than Free Trade Agreements.
- CEPA also looks into the regulatory aspect of trade and encompasses an agreement covering the regulatory issues.
- India has signed CEPAs with South Korea and Japan.
India-UAE Economic Relations:
- The UAE is currently India’s third-largest trading partner with bilateral trade in 2019/2020 valued at USD 59 billion.
- The UAE is also India’s second-largest export destination after the US, with exports valued at approximately USD 29 billion in 2019-2020.
- The UAE is the eighth-largest investor in India, having invested USD 11 billion between April 2000 and March 2021, while investment by Indian companies in the UAE is estimated to be over USD 85 billion.
- Major Exports: Petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery, minerals etc.
- Major Imports: Petroleum and petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems and jewellery, minerals etc.
Significance of India-UAE CEPA:
- It is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods to USD 100 billion within five years of the signed agreement and increase trade in services to USD 15 billion, leading to wider social and economic opportunities in both nations.
- Aimed at improving bilateral economic relations, including expanding the existing trade and investment relationship
- It Will create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in both nations.
- A new strategic economic agreement is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods to USD 100 billion within five years of the signed agreement and increase trade in services to USD 15 billion.
- To strengthen the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open, and inclusive multilateral trading system embodied by the World Trade Organization.
- Also agreed to work towards a balanced and inclusive outcome at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva, Switzerland.
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