The Hindu Businessline - 03 October 2021
Centre seeks inputs on IPR from industry for India-UAE free trade pact
By Amiti Sen
Move will make it easier for Indians to do business in the UAE
On a tight time schedule for the proposed India-UAE free trade pact, which is to be signed by early next year, the Department of Policy for Investment and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has called for suggestions from industry bodies and other stakeholders on intellectual property rights issues that could make it easier for Indians to do business in the UAE.
“In this agreement, IPR plays a critical role as it would be of significant importance to IP-intensive industries, both creative and technology driven,” the DPIIT said in a communication to stakeholders.
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and UAE Foreign Minister Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, in a recent meeting in New Delhi, decided on an ambitious timeline of concluding the negotiations for the India-UAE free trade agreement, officially known as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, by the end of December and signing it by March 2022.
Negotiations for the early harvest component of the FTA have already started. Apart from opening up markets for goods and services, the two Ministers also discussed an investment promotion agreement and there are on-going meetings involving big sovereign wealth funds from the UAE.
The DPIIT, in its communication to Indian businesses, has sought to know the areas of IPR of primary consideration including patents, trademark, copyright, design, geographical indications enforcement, regulatory approval and commercialisation of technology transfer.
Specific areas of concern are to be mentioned such as filing, registration, enforcement or commercialisation of IP rights in the UAE. The industry has also been asked to point out the level at which the challenges are observed such as IP offices, enforcement agencies or any other government agency.
India-UAE trade was at $59 billion in 2019-20, making UAE, India’s third largest trading partner for the year after China and the US, per government figures.
UAE is India’s second largest export destination,after the US, with nearly $29 billion. For UAE, India is the second largest trading partner for 2019.
India’s major export items to the UAE are petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems & jewellery, minerals, food items, textiles, engineering goods and chemicals. India’s major imports from the UAE include petroleum and petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems & jewellery, minerals, chemicals, wood & wood products.