1st Meeting of JC of India-UAE CEPA

Jun 13: India and UAE successfully held the 1st Meeting of the Joint Committee (JC) of the India-UAE CEPA. During the JC, both sides, inter-alia, reviewed the bilateral trade under the CEPA, agreed to operationalize the established committees/sub-committees/technical council under the CEPA, agreed on the mutual exchange of preferential trade data on a quarterly basis for effective monitoring of the CEPA, discussed various matters related to the implementation of the Agreement and agreed on addressing any issue that may potentially act as a hindrance to CEPA implementation or its usage by businesses on both sides, agreed on the creation of a new sub-committee on Trade in Services, and also agreed to set-up a UAE-India CEPA Council (UICC) as a B2B collaboration mechanism, with a focus on MSMEs and start-ups, for building greater economic linkages and optimizing CEPA benefits.

Both sides also exchanged views on WTO matters. The 13th Ministerial Conference of the WTO (MC13) is scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, during the week of 26 February 2024.

A high-level delegation from the UAE, comprising senior officials of the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and representatives from the business community of the UAE, led by H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade of the UAE, visited India on 11-12 June 2023. The agreed minutes of the 1st Meeting of the Joint Committee of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed between the two sides in the presence of the Ministers today.

Earlier, His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade of the UAE called on Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles, Government of India today in New Delhi. The visit also marked the India leg of the 1st Anniversary of the Implementation of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Both the Ministers addressed a Joint Press Conference on the achievements and the successful conclusion of the 1st meeting of the Joint Committee. Addressing the press conference Shri Goyal said that the two countries had agreed to set a target of USD 100 billion of trade in non-petroleum products by 2030 from the USD 48 billion at present.

Both the ministers also participated in a B-2-B event which was organized by the Department of Commerce in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Addressing the business gathering at the B2B event, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles Shri Piyush Goyal emphasized that this path-breaking Agreement has significantly transformed the India-UAE partnership by providing renewed impetus and momentum to an already, close and strong relationship. The Minister also highlighted that initial gains have already started accruing from the Agreement with bilateral trade between India and the UAE growing at around 16.5% and touching an all-time high of around USD 84.84 billion during FY 2023-23.

Shri Goyal said that India’s exports to the UAE also recorded a remarkable growth of 12%, reaching USD 31.6 billion in 2022-2023. He urged businesses from both sides to forge newer ties and build on this momentum. He highlighted other important initiatives that are being discussed between the two sides, including Virtual Trade corridors, the potential set-up of offices of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in GIFT City, Gujarat, the UPI partnership and the potential development of an efficient system for direct Rupee-Dirham trade.

H.E. Dr. Thani bin Zeyoudi, Minister of State of Foreign Trade of the UAE affirmed the keenness of the UAE Government and its leadership to further strengthen the India-UAE bilateral relations by engaging in all areas of mutual importance to both the countries. He also reaffirmed the commitment of his Ministry and his Government to working closely with the Indian side in the same spirit of mutual trust, cooperation and collaboration for the growth, prosperity, and welfare of the peoples of the two countries.

Delivering the welcome remarks, Commerce Secretary, Shri Sunil Barthwal, stated that the visit of the UAE delegation underscored the importance of the economic ties between the two countries.

The B2B event was well attended by representatives from the business communities of India and the UAE, and senior officials from both sides.

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