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Union Minister Piyush Goyal unveils India-UAE Trade Pact, CEPA

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Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Ministry of Commerce and Industry unveiled the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at a press conference held on 28 March 2022 during his visit to the UAE.  The document for the same was released by the Indian Embassy, Abu Dhabi.

  • The minister visited UAE to participate in ‘Investopia Summit’ on March 28, 2022and ‘World Government Summit’ on March 29, 2022, both venues at Dubai.

Key Points about CEPA:

i.It is the first full free trade Agreement to be signed by India with any country in the past decade. It is expected to enter into force on May 1, 2022.

ii.The negotiations for CEPA were concluded in a record span of 88 days. The Agreement is expected to enter into force on 01 May 2022.

iii.It was signed with a view to boost bilateral trade to USD 100 billion over a 5-year period and creation of lakhs of jobs.


On February 18, 2022, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi met virtually where CEPA was signed by Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, UAE, and Indian Union Minister Piyush Goyal.

Setting up of Councils as part of CEPA:

i.Both sides agreed to set up a technical council on Investment, Trade Promotion and Facilitation to promote/monitor investment and trade cooperation, identify opportunities for expanding investment and trade, among others.

  • The council will also identify and work towards the removal of impediments and seek views of the private sector.

ii.The Leaders also agreed to set up an India – UAE Cultural Council to facilitate and promote cross- cultural exchanges, cultural projects, exhibitions and dialogue between thought leaders of the two countries. 

  • The initiative will be coordinated by the Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UAE, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

iii.Both sides have also agreed to a separate Annex on Pharmaceuticals to facilitate access of Indian pharmaceuticals products, especially automatic registration and marketing authorisation in 90 days for products meeting specified criteria.

Features of India-UAE CEPA:

i.The agreement aims to establish a clear, transparent, and predictable legal framework that supports further expansion of trade. 

ii.Under this both sides reduce or eliminate customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them.

  • CEPA covers almost all the tariff lines dealt in by India (11,908 tariff lines) and the UAE (7581 tariff lines) respectively. 
  • India will benefit from preferential market access provided by the UAE on over 97% of its tariff lines which account for 99% of Indian exports to the UAE in value terms.
  • India will also be offering preferential access to the UAE on over 90% of its tariff lines, including lines of export interest to the UAE.

iii.UAE will be chaired by the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, or the authorised representative thereof, and India will be chaired by the Joint Secretary (or equivalent), Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
iv.Areas: Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom, Customs Procedures, Pharmaceutical products, Government Procurement, IPR, Investment, Digital Trade and Cooperation in other Areas.

v.India has offered market access to the UAE in around 100 sub-sectors, while Indian service providers will have access to around 111 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service.

India-UAE Partnership: 

i.UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner.

ii.UAE is also the second largest export destination of India,

iii.UAE is the eight largest investor in India with an estimated investment of US$ 18 billion.

iv.Bilateral trade between India and the UAE stood at USD 43.3 billion in 2020-21.

Recent Related News:

On 25th January, Chairman of Startup Committee of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce &Industry) & HCL founder, Dr Ajai Chowdhry launched the India-United Arab Emirates (UAE) Venture Capital (VC) Fund of worth $150 million from the India Pavilion at EXPO2020 Dubai, UAE.

About United Arab Emirates (UAE):

Capital-Abu Dhabi
Currency– Dirham