Commerce minister Piyush Goyal has said that the comprehensive free trade agreement signed between India and the UAE would help two-way commerce reach the $100 billion mark in the next five years, and will also facilitate millions of jobs in both the countries.
The agreement, called the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is likely to come into force in May and will open doors to about 90 per cent of products of interest to India for export to the UAE right from the first day, the minister told reporters after the signing of the pact on Friday.
Mr Goyal and the UAE minister of economy Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri signed the pact during a virtual summit held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The two countries also unveiled a roadmap for the expansion of overall ties.
The agreement will provide significant benefits to Indian and UAE businesses, including enhanced market access and reduced tariffs. It is expected that the CEPA will lead to increase in bilateral trade from the current $60 billion to $100 billion in the next five years.
In September last year, India and the UAE had formally launched negotiations for the trade agreement. The negotiations for the 881-page agreement were concluded in record 88 days in December.
Mr Goyal described the trade pact as comprehensive and “balanced”.
The CEPA would generate 10 lakh jobs in labour-oriented sectors like textiles, handloom, gems and jewellery, leather and footwear and will give a huge boost to exports to the UAE market.
In the pharma sector, Mr Goyal said that UAE has agreed that Indian made medical products, approved by the EU, the UK, Canada or Australia, will get market access and regulatory approval within 90 days of submission of applications.
While the UAE has agreed to eliminate duties on Indian jewellery, India would give duty concessions on gold imports up to 200 tonnes.