India-UEA CEPA - #SectorUpdates
The landmark Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was recently signed between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is a landmark agreement because it’s the UAE’s first comprehensive strategic partnership with any country, and it is India’s first Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in a decade. The agreement will give India greater access to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It will also serve as a template for a similar agreement with other Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain. Furthermore, in the area of health, the agreement provides automatic registration and marketing authorization which will reduce the time barrier to 90 days for drugs that are approved by a developed country. In addition to that, the countries have come together to focus on food security issues. The UAE has vast stretches of arable and uncultivable land which makes the country dependent on food imports. The partnership envisages mitigating the UAE’s food security concern through the ‘Food Security Corridor Initiative’ under which the countries will build infrastructure and dedicated logistic services, connecting farms to ports to final destinations in the UAE.