Dubai Chamber Of Commerce Webinar Sheds Light On UAE-India Free Trade Deal

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Dubai Chamber of Commerce, one of the three chambers under Dubai Chambers, recently organised a webinar, which shed light on the landmark UAE – India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and the various economic benefits that are expected to be created by the free trade deal.

Attended by over 270 participants, the webinar was organised in partnership with the UAE Embassy in India, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Dubai Economy and Tourism and the Indian Business & Professional Council (IBPC).

After coming into effect in May 2022, CEPA is projected to give an added boost to 90% of exports and imports between the two countries, while the trade agreement is also expected to benefit bilateral investment and tourism exchange.

Speaking during the event, Omar Khan, Director of International Offices, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, explained how CEPA is expected to expand UAE-India economic cooperation to new emerging and innovation focused sectors, such as AI, blockchain and fintech.

He noted that the Chamber is examining new business opportunities emerging on the horizon as CEPA changes the dynamics of UAE-India bilateral trade and builds new bridges between the two business communities.

In a special address to participants, Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to the UAE, stressed the importance of leveraging CEPA to create far-reaching mutual economic benefits, adding that the agreement comes after nearly a decade of increased efforts by the Indian and UAE governments to strengthen and expand economic cooperation.

“The thrust of this agreement are comprehensive and strategic outcomes and CEPA flows from this commitment to boost trade and deepen economic ties. UAE keeps evolving its policies for the interest of the business communities and future of the economy,” said Sudhir.

“The UAE is the third largest trading partner for India and synergizes the scope of business opportunities for stakeholders,” he said. “The trade pact will aid in taking forward the two-way trade to $100 billion in five years from the existing $60 billion. This is a joint effort to combine the vision of both nations,” said Deepak Sood, Secretary General, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.

Presentations were followed by a panel discussion joined by UAE and Indian government officials who shared their views and expectations for the impact of CEPA on agreement on trade in goods, services and investments. 

Speaking on the panel, Fakhry Al Hazaima, Senior Consultant – Negotiations and International Organizations Trade Negotiations and International Organizations Department, UAE Ministry of Economy with. Shaima Alaydarous, Director, Trade Negotiations and International Organizations Department, UAE Ministry of Economy, and Parul Singh, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India. 

CEPA is the UAE’s first bilateral trade agreement signed with India and the accord is expected to increase the total value of bilateral trade in goods to over $100 billion and trade in services to over $15 billion within five years.