New Delhi: The signing of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement could pave the way for an agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) within this year itself, said Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
He said the Secretary-General of the GCC has expressed the desire to fast track the negotiations and added, “We are also confident in our negotiating ability, we have conducted negotiations in a rapid manner with UAE, and we are believe that a similar agreement on trade would be concluded with the GCC in this year itself.”
GCC is a union of six countries in the Gulf region—Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain—with a combined nominal GDP of $ 1.6 trillion.
Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Goyal said labour intensive industries like textiles, gems and jewellery, leather goods and footwear, and food processing industry would be prominent among those to benefit the most from the India-UAE CEPA.
“It will create jobs for our youth, open new markets for our startups, make our businesses more competitive & boost our economy” he added. Sector-wise consultations have shown that the pact will create a minimum of 10 lakh jobs for Indian citizens.
Around 90 per cent of the products exported from India to UAE will attract zero duty with implementation of the Agreement.
For the first time in a trade agreement, CEPA provides for automatic registration and marketing authorisation of Indian generic medicines in 90 days, once they are approved in any of the developed countries. This will give big market access to Indian medicines, he said.
Since the UAE functions as a trading hub, the Agreement will help provide market entry points to Africa, Middle East and Europe, hoped the Minister.