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India-UAE trade pact to be reviewed next year, more items may be included

BloombergQuint | 14 April 2022

India-UAE trade pact to be reviewed next year, more items may be included

by Rounak Kumar Gunjan

The India-United Arab Emirates’ Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will be reviewed in a year to consider including certain items that are currently on the exclusion list, said Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, U.A.E. in an telephonic interview with BloombergQuint.

"Some of the products have been categorised as sensitive. Non-gold gems and jewelries have been excluded, as certain sectors need more time. Such commodities are going to be reviewed in a year from documentation of the CEPA to see their progress after implementation of the agreement," said Zeyoudi.

BloombergQuint had earlier reported that among other items, jewellery with silver filigree work, whether or not plated or clad with other precious metal; silver jewellery with gems; other articles of jewellery; of metal clad with precious metal, and parts of metal clad with precious metal were kept away from tariff cuts.

The CEPA is UAE’s first bilateral free trade agreement. It was signed on Feb. 18, ratified by UAE on March 26, and will come into force starting May 1. The two countries had agreed on an exhaustive list of products for tariff reduction.

"The commodities and the world will be changing. New industries are going to come on board. That’s why we are going to review and analyse the situation, and see what else we can do," Zeyoudi said.

The free trade pact also eliminated tariffs on finished pharmaceutical products and other items, such as waste pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical glassware, among others. Both countries will be accepting pharmaceutical products manufactured in either country without the need for prior inspection.

Zeyoudi termed the pharmaceutical sector as "one of the most important sectors globally".

The free trade agreement may enable faster access to work visas and recognition of professional degrees. The U.A.E. has been working on revamping the residency and immigration system and improving the data system of businesses to continue to attract talent, said Zeyoudi.

Key sectors for the first phase of the agreement include architecture, engineering, doctors, dental and nursing.

"India is a strategic partner. We enjoy strategic relations between our leaders and share a deep understanding of our culture, which goes back centuries. Last year, we had excellent bilateral trade volumes above $61 billion. CEPA is going to take us to the next level."

Zeyoudi said they are now looking at bigger markets where they can work together, such as the Asian and the African market.

 source: BloombergQuint