Indian embassy in UAE takes steps to increase utilisation of free trade agreement

Image Source : INDIAN EMBASSY, UAE (WEBSITE) The commerce department and the Indian embassy in the UAE is taking a series of steps to encourage trade agreements.

According to sources, the commerce department and the Indian embassy in the UAE is taking a series of steps such as organising buyer-seller meets and encouraging states to organise road shows to increase the utilisation of the free trade agreement between the countries. The agreement, which was implemented in May, has helped in pushing India’s exports to the UAE. India’s exports to the UAE rose by 12.5 per cent to USD 12.67 billion in June-October 2022.

According to joint secretary of commerce department, Srikar Reddy, sectors like electrical machinery and equipment, cereals, chemicals, automobiles, gems and jewellery, tea, coffee, and spices are registering healthy growth in exports after implementation of the trade agreement. Reddy said that the department in association with the Indian Mission in the UAE is organising a series of CEPA (comprehensive economic partnership agreement) specific trade promotion events.

Speaking at the media briefing, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir said that states are being encouraged to organise road shows in places like Dubai. Giving example of Uttar Pradesh, he said that the state is planning to organise road show in the middle of next month. “We are also trying to build a virtual transit corridor” to make the movement of Indian goods seamless via Dubai and Abu Dhabi to third countries, as they are important transit points. “This is actively under consideration on both sides and soon hopefully we will see some kind of agreement on that. There is a lot of interest on both sides,” Sudhir said.

Meanwhile, the commerce ministry in a statement said that India and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have agreed to expedite the conclusion of the requisite legal and technical requirements for the formal resumption of the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations. “Both sides emphasized that the FTA will create new jobs, raise living standards, and provide wider social and economic opportunities in India and all the GCC countries,” the commerce ministry said in its statement.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf, Secretary General, GCC, announced the intent to pursue negotiations on the India-GCC FTA on Thursday. The GCC is currently India’s largest trading partner bloc. Bilateral trade in 2021-22 was valued at over USD 154 billion with exports valued at USD 44 billion and imports at USD 110 billion.

(With inputs from PTI)

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