New Delhi ,

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed between India and UAE has made a significant impact on India’s bilateral trade, especially with respect to India’s exports to UAE. On the occasion of the first anniversary of CEPA’s implementation, Commerce Secretary Shri Sunil Barthwal congratulated both countries on this milestone and talked about the agreement’s role as a growth engine for bilateral trade.

CEPA, which is a full and deep agreement, was signed on February 18, 2022, during a virtual summit between the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, and His Excellency the President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. CEPA came into force from May 1, 2022.

During the past one year, CEPA has made a significant impact on India’s bilateral trade with the UAE, and particularly India’s exports to the UAE (oil and non-oil). The bilateral trade between India and the UAE touched historic highs during FY 2022-23. Trade increased from US$ 72.9 billion (Apr 21-Mar 2022) to US$ 84.5 billion (Apr 22-Mar 2023), registering a year-on-year increase of 16%. During the CEPA implementation period (May 22 to Mar 23), bilateral trade increased from US$ 67.5 billion (May 21-Mar 2022) to US$ 76.9 billion (May 22-Mar 2023), an annual increase of 14%.

Exports from India to the UAE have also registered a multiyear high. During the April-March period, Indian exports to the UAE increased from US$ 28 bn to US$ 31.3 bn, an increase of around US$ 3.3 billion, or 11.8% year-on-year growth in percentage terms. During the same period, growth in India’s global exports was 5.3%. Excluding the UAE, India’s global exports grew at 4.8%.

CEPA implementation has resulted in an increase in India’s exports to the UAE by 8.5% YoY growth from USD 26.2 billion (May 21 – March 22) to USD 28.5 billion (May 22 – March 23). During the same period, India’s global exports, excluding the UAE, grew at 3.1%. India’s imports from the UAE have grown to USD 53.2 billion (an annual increase of 18.8%) during Apr 22 to Mar 23. Non-oil imports during the same period grew by 4.1%.

CEPA has played a crucial role in the growth of several sectors, including labour-intensive sectors. These sectors have witnessed significant export growth, including Mineral Fuels, Electrical Machinery (particularly telephone equipment), Gems & Jewellery, Automobiles (Transport vehicles segment), Essential Oils/Perfumes/Cosmetics (Beauty/Skin care products), Other Machinery, Cereals (Rice), Coffee/Tea/Spices, Other Agri Products, and Chemical Products.

The utilization of the India-UAE CEPA has been increasing steadily on a month-on-month basis. The number of Preferential Certificates of Origin (COOs) issued under the CEPA increased from 415 in May 2022 to 8440 in March 2023. Over 54,000 COOs have been issued under the CEPA during the 11-month period (May 22 – March 23).

Under the India-UAE CEPA in the Goods Domain, the UAE eliminated duties on 97.4% of its tariff lines corresponding to 99% of imports from India.


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