On February 18, 2022, UAE signed the first Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India. It is a comprehensive trade agreement between India and the UAE, was signed during a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan.
The agreement was signed and exchanged by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri.
This agreement will strengthen the strategic ties between the two countries. It came into force on May 1,2022, with the arrival of the first imports exempted from tariffs.
Regarding the new areas of cooperation, he emphasized that Cepa provides numerous benefits, including tariff reductions and cancellations, increased market access, and the creation of opportunities in critical areas such as aviation, environment, hospitality, logistics, investment, construction, financial services, and digital trade.
According to Al Marri, the Cepa will provide numerous benefits to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in both countries’ private sectors. It is a historically significant step toward promoting economic integration and collaboration between the two countries and laying a firm platform for new possibilities in their corporate sectors.
The agreement covers trade in goods, rules of origin, trade in services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, dispute settlement and digital trade, among other areas.
According to him, the agreement will also provide access to new markets as well as new investments and possibilities in vital areas such as energy, the environment, and digital trade. According to him, the agreement covers 11 areas and over 100 sub-sectors, along with business services, professional services, accounting, real estate, advertising, communications, building and construction, related services, educational services, environmental services, financial services, insurance, social and health services, and travel and tourism.
The agreement covers 11 service sectors and more than 100 sub-sectors, including business services, professional services, accounting, real estate, advertising, communications, building and construction, related services, educational services, environmental services, financial services, insurance, social and health services, and travel and tourism service.
According to the UAE Minister of Economy, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, the trade will be reduced custom tariffs by 90 percent and increase non-oil trade from US$45 billion at the end of 2021 to US$100 billion annually in the next five years.
He added that the CEPA between the UAE and India will enhance their bilateral trade and add 1.7 per cent, or USD 9 billion, to the UAE’s GDP by 2030, increase the UAE’s exports by 1.5 per cent and its imports by 3.8 per cent by 2030. It will also create some 140,000 jobs for talented people and those with specialist skills in the most promising sectors of the UAE economy by 2030.
The UAE aims to sign eight CEPA agreements in 2022.