The CEPA Agreement

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Naseebullah Khan

The CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) of non-oil trade and investment between India and the UAE reflects how economic interests matter, how continuity in policies is becoming key to economic progress and how new alignments have been formulated based on economic development.
At present, the current annual bilateral trade between both India and the UAE is 59 billion USD with an exception to remittances. The agreement has set a target to boost bilateral trade between both nations up to 100 billion US dollars in the next 3 to 5 years. The agreement has primarily focused on free trade according to which, tariffs on 80 percent of goods have been ended or reduced, whereas all tariffs will be eliminated within 10 years. Moreover, the UAE will provide zero percent duty access to 90 percent of Indian exports to the UAE.
Notwithstanding, the UAE will provide visas to 140000 highly skilled Indian nationals by 2030. Further, the UAE will give registration to Indian genetic medicines that will further boost the Indian medicine industry towards the Arabian Gulf region (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait) which is already home to 13 million Indians who in 2021, sent 87 billion US dollar remittances to India.
The accord will bring far-reaching advantages for both countries. Estimatedly, by 2030, this agreement will benefit UAE increase its GDP by 1.7 percent. While it will create 1 million jobs for Indian citizens. In addition, India might have access to South Asian and African markets, due to the proximity of the UAE.
What this agreement envisages are: that geo-economics policy has been the prior priority of nations___ and continuity of economic policies are key to progress the economic cooperation between two nations cemented after Modi,s repeated visits to UAE in 2015, and 2018, and then in 2019. This win___win agreement has a lot of lessons for Pakistan whose annual trade with the UAE is 8 billion US dollars. Will we learn? Will sanity prevail? Owing to previous gloomy records of the uncertainty of economic policies, pessimism prevails.

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