Picture used for illustrative purpose.
Dubai Customs Consultative Council held its meeting in an atmosphere of optimism regarding growth indicators for various economic sectors in the UAE.
The meeting focused on several topics, including the prospects of trade recovery and the multiple economic benefits that will be provided by the historic UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which is expected to help increase trade between the two friendly countries by 120 per cent to $100 billion within five years, compared to $45 billion currently.
The virtual meeting was attended by Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, and Chairman of the Consultative Council; the leadership team of Dubai Customs; and representatives of business and trade group members of the Council.
Musabih stressed that 2022 indicators give rise to optimism in all economic sectors, noting that the UAE played a decisive role in containing the pandemic and its effects through continuous development of strategies and innovative initiatives that were able to absorb the repercussions of the crisis. The UAE has succeeded in facing challenges and turning them into real opportunities to support economic growth, as the World Bank report stated that the economic recovery in the UAE would continue during 2022, and that growth will reach 4.7 per cent, driven by the oil and non-oil sectors.
The UAE’s foreign trade in 2021 recorded nearly Dhs1.9 trillion, growing 27 per cent compared to 2020, and 11 per cent compared to 2019.
Musabih stated the growth included all components of trade, including export, import and re-export, and it is expected that the commercial sectors will continue to grow during the current year. In addition, in October 2021, the UAE approved the federal budget for the years 2022-2026 with a total of Dhs290 billion, making it the largest federal budget in the history of the UAE. The budget translates the country’s commitment towards achieving national development and providing a decent life for its people.
“The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the UAE and India ushers a new era of economic cooperation based on mutual interests between the two friendly countries, reflects the deep historical relations between them, improves mutual access to markets, and enhances economic, trade and investment opportunities. The agreement helps reduce tariffs and facilitate trade between the two countries significantly, supported by innovative initiatives such as the Authorised Economic Operator and the cross-border e-commerce platform, as well as the Logistics Passport initiative,” Musabih said.
Suresh Kumar, Chairman the Indian Business Professional Council (IBPC), highlighted the role of the CEPA during the next stage in terms of developing trade exchange, as it includes many strategic aspects, and is considered a testament to the depth of relations between the two friendly countries. This agreement is the first of its kind that the UAE has signed with any country, and it is India’s first with any country in the Middle East and the Gulf region.
Kumar affirmed that the agreement will assist companies and trade bodies in achieving greater market access while activating Indian exports, especially petroleum products, precious metals, chemicals and agricultural products. He also indicated that the UAE’s investments in India amount to US$67 billion, and India’s investments in the UAE amount to $18 billion dollars.
A presentation delivered by Ruhan Siroya from the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group reviewed lab-grown diamonds and the opportunities available in that field. Another presentation from the Steel Manufacturers Group focused on the promising opportunities available in Dubai for steel producers.
Last week, Dubai Chamber of Commerce 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 percent 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.