UAE-India free trade agreement begins on May 1: Official

UAE-India free trade agreement begins on May 1: Official

A free trade agreement between India and the United Arab Emirates comes into effect on May 1, 2022, according to a Tweet from the UAE’s foreign trade minister.

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The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two nations was signed on Friday, February 18.

It is expected to boost annual bilateral non-oil trade from $60 billion to $100 billion within the next three to five years, India’s Prime Minister’s office said at the time.

“There will be a huge flow of trade and investments between both nations and it’s going to open the door for more business opportunities,” Emirati Minister State for Foreign Trade Thani al-Zeyoudi told Reuters in February.

The agreement, which was not immediately made public, eliminates 80 percent of tariffs on UAE and India goods, while all tariffs are to be removed within ten years, al-Zeyoudi said.

UAE commodities like aluminum, copper and petrochemicals would benefit from the removal of tariffs, he said.

The deal also covers services, investments, intellectual property, and a commitment by the UAE to grant 140,000 employment visas to highly skilled workers from India by 2030.

India is the second largest trading partner of the UAE, where each year billions of dollars in remittances are sent home by more than three million Indians working in the Gulf state.

The UAE economy ministry said by 2030 the CEPA would add $9 billion, or 1.7 percent, to UAE gross domestic product, exports would increase $7.6 billion, or 1.5 percent, and imports would rise $14.8 billion, or 3.8 percent.

The CEPA is expected to take 1.5-2 years to be implemented.

The UAE is pursuing similar trade and investment deals with nations including Turkey and South Korea, and expects to soon finalize bilateral negotiations with Israel and Indonesia.

It has also announced a raft of regulatory and social reforms in recent years to make business and life easier in the country where most of the 10 million population are foreigners.

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