UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Prime Minister Narendra Modi | Anne
The Ministry of Commerce, in cooperation with the Indian embassy in the UAE, is taking a number of measures such as organizing meetings between buyers and sellers and encouraging states to organize roadshows there to enhance the utilization of free trade agreements between the countries, a senior official said.
The agreement, implemented in May, has helped boost Indian exports to the UAE.
From June to October 2022, India’s exports to the UAE rose by 12.5% to $12.67 billion. Imports rose 21 percent to $22.2 billion during the period, Srikar Reddy, the ministry’s joint secretary, told reporters here.
Efforts are underway to raise awareness of the agreement, he said.
Reddy added that the implementation of the trade agreement has seen healthy growth in exports in sectors such as electrical machinery and equipment, gems and jewellery, grains, chemicals, automobiles, coffee, tea and spices.
He said the ministry, in collaboration with the Indian Mission in the UAE, is organizing a series of CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) specific trade promotion activities in the UAE.
India’s ambassador to the UAE, Sunjay Sudhir, told a media briefing that states are encouraged to organize roadshows in places like Dubai.
Shown in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh is planning to host the fair in the middle of next month, he said, and has organized several buyer-seller meetings for different export industries such as engineering, gemstones and jewellery.
“We are also trying to create a virtual transit corridor” that would allow Indian goods to move seamlessly to third countries via Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as they are important transit points.
“Both parties are actively considering this and hopefully we can come to some sort of agreement on this soon. There is a lot of interest on both sides,” Sudir said.
free trade agreement
Meanwhile, India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have agreed to expedite the completion of the legal and technical requirements needed to formally resume free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
“Both sides emphasized that the FTA will create new jobs, improve living standards and provide wider social and economic opportunities in India and all GCC countries,” it said.
India-GCC Free Trade Agreement
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and GCC Secretary-General Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf on Thursday announced their intention to negotiate the India-GCC Free Trade Agreement.
Notably, the GCC is currently India’s largest group of trading partners. Bilateral trade exceeds US$154 billion in 2021-22, with US$44 billion in exports and US$110 billion in imports.
GCC countries contribute nearly 35% of India’s oil imports and 70% of its natural gas imports.
India’s total crude oil imports from the GCC in 2021-22 is about $48 billion, while LNG and LPG imports are about $21 billion in 2021-22. GCC investments in India are currently worth more than $18 billion.