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India, UAE sign Comprehensive Trade Agreement

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 22, Feb 2022
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India and the United Arab Emirates have signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

What is CEPA and how is it different from FTA?

It is a kind of free trade pact which covers negotiation on the trade in services and investment, and other areas of economic partnership.

  • It may even consider negotiation on areas such as trade facilitation and customs cooperation, competition, and Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Partnership agreements or cooperation agreements are more comprehensive than Free Trade Agreements.
  • CEPA also looks into the regulatory aspect of trade and encompasses an agreement covering the regulatory issues.

As per the CEPA signed between India and the UAE:

90% of India’s exports will have duty-free access to the Emirates.

It covers goods, services and digital trade.


  • The bilateral trade pact is India’s first in the region and the first comprehensive trade agreement with any country in a decade.
  • The CEPA is likely to benefit about $26 billion worth of Indian products that are currently subjected to 5% import duty by the UAE, India’s third-biggest trading partner behind the US and China.
  • It is expected that the CEPA will lead to an increase in bilateral trade from the current $60 bn to $100 bn in the next 5 years.
  • Through the pact, Indian exporters will also get access to the much larger Arab and African markets.