Commerce ministry to conduct outreach programmes to promote UAE, Australia trade pacts

The commerce ministry will conduct a series of outreach programmes in various cities, including Hyderabad and Mumbai, to promote the recently signed free trade agreements with the UAE and Australia, an official said. “The main objective of these programmes is to inform Indian exporters about the export opportunities which these trade agreements will provide to them in both goods and services segments,” the official said.

These programmes are planned to be conducted in cities, including Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Surat, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Agra.

They would be organised in close coordination with the respective state governments. Officials from trade or industry ministries of the states concerned as well as those from industry associations and export promotion councils will participate in the programmes.

The first in the series of programmes would be conducted in Hyderabad on Saturday.

The free trade agreement between India and the UAE is likely to come into effect from May 1 this year, under which domestic exporters of as many as 6,090 goods from sectors like textiles, agriculture, dry fruits, gem and jewellery would get duty-free access to the UAE market.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed by India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in February which aims to boost bilateral trade to USD 100 billion in the next five years from current USD 60 billion.

On April 2, India and Australia signed an economic cooperation and trade agreement under which Canberra would provide duty-free access in its market for over 6,000 broad sectors of India, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery and machinery.

Both the pacts would help in promoting trade in services as well.

Mumbai-based exporter and Chairman of Technocraft Industries Sharda Kumar Saraf said the India-UAE agreement is also likely to give a boost to bilateral investments from both sides.

“Importers in UAE can now set up joint ventures in India to procure goods at competitive terms. Indian manufacturers can get the benefit of importing raw material in India duty free and finishing the final product using excellent infrastructure and cheap finance in UAE,” he said.

Saraf said that CEPA has come at the right time when the government of Dubai is in the process of establishing Bharat Bazar in their proposed Traders Market.

This is a unique facility wherein Indian exporters will be given office and warehousing space for active and aggressive marketing in Middle East and African region.

“These agreements (with the UAE and Australia) are likely to help in providing a quantum jump to Indian exports,” he added. (PTI)