India will address all the 'teething' issues related to the CEPA deal at the earliest, says the country's ambassador Sanjay Sudhir. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: India has adopted a ‘three-pronged’ plan to address some of the ‘teething’ issues in the implementation of the UAE-India CEPA, which came into effect May 1. A series of 15 buyer-seller meets will be organized by India, focusing on key trade sectors such as gems, jewellery and precious metals, said Sanjay Sudhir, India’s Ambassador to UAE, during a briefing on Thursday. The Indian embassy has identified 11 exhibitions in UAE where the country’s exporters can participate and showcase their products.

Sudhir said that the embassy is looking at setting up ‘Bharat Mart’ platform in Dubai’s Jebel Ali, where exporters can promote their products and pursue trade opportunities. Other CEPAs are in the pipeline for India with Indonesia, Turkey, and Colombia, said Sudhir. “By investing in UAE, we can reach out to the rest of the world.”

The UAE-India CEPA agreement, which was negotiated in a record 88 days, also makes a political statement, said Sudhir. “Several bottlenecks and obstacles are there and can be cleared.” The agreement, which is aimed at boosting trade between the two countries, is expected to increase bilateral trade from the current $60 billion to $100 billion in the next five years.

The deal, with significant trade concessions and tax waivers, is expected to benefit several sectors such as gems and jewellery, leather, plastic products, agriculture, medical devices, pharmaceutical products, and automobiles. The first 0 per cent import duty shipments of gold and jewellery from India under CEPA reached the UAE in May. “More investment will flow from UAE to India in 2022 than in the last 20 years,” said Aman Puri, Consul-General of India in Dubai. “Both countries have already committed significant investments (and) we look forward to sector-specific engagements.”

Remove the final hurdles
Bharat Bhatia, CEO of Conares, a UAE-based steel manufacturer, said there are still issues related to the clearing of investments.

"There are pain points - there is an issue with investments or clearing the documents," said Bhatia. "The Ministry of Economy has to try and provide that clarity to all the manufacturers in UAE to make sure that the customs clearance is not a hurdle for us."