CEPA is expected to increase the total value of bilateral trade in goods to over US$100 billion

The India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) officially entered into force on Sunday.

The first consignment of goods comprising of Jewellery products from India to UAE under the India-UAE CEPA was flagged off by Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam from New Delhi to mark the occasion.

The India-UAE CEPA, signed on February 18 this year, is expected to increase the total value of bilateral trade in goods to over US$100 billion and trade in services to over US$ 15 billion within five years, according to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

Overall, India will benefit from preferential market access provided by the UAE on over 97 % of its tariff lines which account for 99% of Indian exports to the UAE in value terms particularly from labour-intensive sectors such as Gems and Jewellery, Textiles, leather, footwear, sports goods, plastics, furniture, agricultural and wood products, engineering products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and Automobiles, the ministry pointed out.

"As regards trade in services, Indian service providers will have enhanced access to around 111 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service sectors," the ministry added.

Speaking at the event in New Delhi, Commerce Secretary Subrahmanyam said that the agreement was a trendsetter because of the short time in which it was negotiated.

Noting that the agreement was an outcome of the vision of the leaders of the two nations, the Commerce Secretary said that for India, UAE would be a gateway to the world.

Underscoring the need for Indian products to be competitive in the international market, the Secretary said that there was a need to build and augment capacities. He also added that the government was working on reducing the logistics cost so that the products from hinterland could also be competitive.

The Commerce Secretary informed that India was negotiating trade agreements at a very fast pace with complementary economies and that talks were ongoing with UK, Canada and EU.

Stating that USD 670 bn of exports (goods and service) during last fiscal year constituted 22-23% of the GDP, Subrahmanyam said that exports are an important engine of growth in every economy and added that the world was looking to India as a reliable partner.

Conveying a vision for India's future in 2047, the Commerce Secretary said that India would be a USD 40 trillion economy in the next 25 years.