India-UAE trade deal to boost apparel exports and jobs, exporters say

Implementation of the India-UAE Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement would help boost the country’s exports and create thousands of jobs, exporters say.

Welcoming the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday, Chairman of the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), Narendra Goenka, said that It will further strengthen India’s dominant position in the UAE.

“With India supplying $1,515 million in apparel to the UAE against total imports of $3,517 million, Indian apparel exports contribute a decent share of 43%. 5% import duty for Indian ready-made garments. This will further strengthen the dominance of Indian garments in the UAE,” Goenka said.

He added that India’s garment exports to the UAE also cater to the needs of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the UK.

Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) Chairman A Sakthivel said the pact would be beneficial for Indian exports, especially for labor-intensive sectors like agriculture and industries. processed foods, including meat and marine products, gemstones and jewelry, clothing and textiles, leather and footwear. .

“Having a large Indian diaspora, the UAE consumes a large amount of grains, Indian fruits and vegetables, tea, spices, sugar, etc. he said.

Sharing similar views, Vikramjit Sahney, chairman of the Indo-Arab Council, said the pact should reduce tariffs for 80% of goods and provide duty-free access to 90% of Indian exports to the UAE. .

“Annual two-way trade is expected to grow from the current level of $60 billion to $100 billion and would increase India’s exports of gemstones and jewellery, textiles, leather, pharmaceuticals and engineering products,” he said. said Sahney.

India granting UAE tariff concessions on gold and UAE eliminating tariffs on Indian jewelry will increase exports. UAE investment in India will increase significantly, especially in the areas of health, infrastructure and renewable energy,” he added.

Chairman of the Leather Export Council, Sanjay Leekha, said the UAE was one of the key markets for the sector and it would also provide access to some EU countries and Africa.

“The pact would help boost exports and create jobs,” Leekha said.

Chairman of the Plastics Export Promotion Council of India (PLEXCONCIL), Arvind Goenka, said that currently India’s annual imports of plastic raw materials stand at $14 billion and imports from United Arab Emirates amounted to 800 million dollars. – times the growth due to this pact in addition to the creation of about 2 lakh jobs in the sector.

“The Indian MSME industry will be the main beneficiary. The availability of cheaper raw materials, as the preferential import rights offered by India will enable them to compete with cheap imports of finished plastic products. Preferential access to the UAE market, as lower import duties are offered for value-added plastics and better access to WANA and CIS countries, will increase plastics exports by at least 300% by 2023-24” , said Goenka.

Technocraft Industries India founding chairman Sharad Kumar Saraf said the deal has the potential to add at least $2 billion to Indian exports.

“It will also strengthen our ties with the UAE. The Indian diaspora in the UAE will play a vital role in Indo-Emirati trade,” he added.

FIEO Vice President Khalid Khan also said the pact will help boost bilateral trade between the two countries.

“This will benefit both goods and services. 90% of goods exports will have duty-free access to the United Arab Emirates, which is the largest trading partner after the United States and China, and a getaway to the Middle East and in African countries,” Khan said.

Kolkata-based maritime exporter Yogesh Gupta said it was a historic event paving the way for greater economic ties and trust between India and the UAE. “It will also have a long-term effect on diplomatic relations. A step in the right direction,” he said.

India and the United Arab Emirates signed the trade pact on Friday after concluding negotiations in a short span of 88 days. The pact aims to raise bilateral trade to the $100 billion mark in more than five years and create about 10 lakh jobs in sectors such as garments, plastics, leather and pharmaceuticals.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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