UAE and India's landmark CEPA trade agreement to take effect on May 1

The Ministry of Economy launched a new website to provide investors with all the information needed to tap into market potential

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - August 24, 2019: UAE and Indian flags line the hallway during a reception for HE Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India, at Qasr Al Watan. 
( Ryan Carter / Ministry of Presidential Affairs )
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The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, a landmark deal between the UAE and India, will come into effect on May 1, said Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

In line with the move, the Ministry of Economy unveiled a new web page dedicated to CEPA on Thursday, which provides information to companies and investors in the UAE who wish to capitalise on the benefits provided by the agreement.

The benefits of CEPA include enhanced market access, lower or eliminated tariff rules, simpler customs procedures, clear and transparent rules and rule-based competition, the website says.

“The web page provides all the necessary resources and relevant information to private sector stakeholders and companies in the UAE who are interested in enhancing their businesses and investment in India. It also gives them an overview of the trade and investment opportunities and features of this historic agreement," Juma Al Kait, assistant undersecretary of International Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Economy, said in a statement.

“This comprehensive knowledge base enhances the access of exporters, suppliers, investors, entrepreneurs, innovators and talents to new opportunities under the scope of this agreement, thereby strengthening their ability to develop specific expansion strategies focused on the Indian market.”

The UAE and India signed the CEPA in February, with the pact expected to boost non-oil trade between the two countries to $100 billion in five years from $60bn currently, opening additional avenues of investment.

The deal, which is a part of the UAE's strategy to boost trade, is also expected to add 1.7 per cent, or $8.9bn, to the country's gross domestic product and boost exports by 1.5 per cent, or $7.6bn, by 2030.

The UAE is India's third-biggest trading partner, while the South Asian nation — the continent's third-largest economy — is the Emirates' second-largest trading partner. Trade volume between the two countries hit $60bn in 2019, a KPMG report indicated.

More than 3.4 million Indians live in the UAE, making them the largest overseas population in the country.

UAE ministers and senior officials are also confident that the CEPA will advance the Emirates' technology agenda and create more job opportunities.

The CEPA is expected to support the growth of national industries, enhance its competitiveness, accelerate the pace of adopting advanced technology and create competitive advantages in new fields, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said in February.

The agreement is part of the UAE's "bold plans" to build an attractive, competitive, resilient, sustainable and knowledge-driven economy for the next 50 years, Abdulla bin Touq, Minister of Economy, said at the time.

The launch of the web page is part of the ministry's plan to operationalise CEPA, aimed at helping the private sector with the tools and information it needs to deepen trade relations with India.

The portal provides detailed information on all 18 chapters of CEPA and lists simple steps that companies in the UAE can adopt to forge or expand their business relationship with and ease their entry into the Indian market.

The ministry said a team of experts have been appointed to respond to enquiries from the private sector and investors, including from the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Chambers and the Department of Economy and Tourism. A number of trade remedies are also detailed in the agreement.

The ministry also has plans of meeting with state-owned enterprises, family businesses and large multinationals, as well as conducting workshops for start-ups, to help them understand the details of tariff reductions and removal, which covers 80 per cent of products, the statement said.

Updated: April 21, 2022, 10:11 AM