CEPA UAE INDIA a quick look

A Look at CEPA – The Bilateral Trade Agreement Between UAE & India

Table of Contents

The UAE and India recently signed a new trade agreement called the CEPA. CEPA stands for Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. This deal aims to increase trade and business activities between both countries. It covers things like goods, services, investments, and other economic cooperation areas.  

As a student, you might wonder — why does this matter? How does this trade deal between two countries impact me? Well, increased trade is good for both economies. It can lead to more jobs, income opportunities, new technologies, and overall growth. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key parts of this deal:

Section 1 – More Duty-Free Access for Goods

One major aspect is duty-free access for exports. This means cutting taxes on goods traded between both countries. 

  • Over 97% of Indian products exported to the UAE will have zero duties soon. 
  • This includes labor-intensive industries that create lots of jobs such as:
  • Gems and jewelry
  • Textiles and fabrics 
  • Leather goods
  • Metal products
  • Agricultural goods
  • Electrical machinery
  • Automotive parts

Lower taxes can boost production, investments and competitiveness. This promises more economic opportunities and income sources for regular folks in India. It also makes high quality Indian products more affordable for UAE customers.

Section 2 – Growth in Services Trade   

Apart from goods, the CEPA also opens up trade in services. This means Indian companies can now offer over 100 services more easily in the UAE such as:

  • Information and Computer services – like IT consulting
  • Telecom and Audio Visual services – like media streaming
  • Professional services – like engineering, design 
  • Environmental services – like waste management  
  • Healthcare and Social services – like hospitals
  • Transport and Logistics services – like shipping

More trade in these sectors leads to more specialized jobs and learning opportunities in new technologies. It also makes high-quality services available to UAE residents and businesses at better rates.

Section 3 – Investments & Improved Business Environment

Another key highlight is making it easier for UAE and Indian investors to do business in both countries. 

The UAE has committed to allow Indian ownership in strategic sectors like:

  • Real estate and construction  
  • Tourism
  • Manufacturing 
  • Healthcare
  • Infrastructure

Likewise, India will also allow Emirati firms to invest in key areas. More investments both ways generate employment, infrastructure building, innovation sharing, and overall economic growth.

The CEPA also has safeguards in place to protect investments such as:  

  • Fair regulations
  • Preventing unfair takeovers of assets
  • Allowing free flow of capital

Such measures reduce risks and create stability for long term business collaborations.

Section 4 – Cooperation in Digital Economy & Fintech  

Lastly, an exciting part of this deal focuses on joint cooperation in new-age digital sectors:

  • Digital payments and fintech – enabling services like PhonePe, online remittance, UPI etc.
  • Artificial intelligence and big data analytics – advanced technologies improving business and government services  
  • Telecom infrastructure – 5G networks, cloud computing resources
  • Audio visual services – animation, gaming industry collaboration 

Increased cooperation in these emerging fields allows both countries to develop the skills, technologies and governance frameworks necessary for the digital economy. Students and young professionals can be at the forefront of these promising career opportunities.


In summary, the CEPA trade agreement offers benefits across goods, investments, services, digital, and strategic cooperation for both the UAE and India. For students and young people, this translates into more future jobs, upskilling opportunities, income potential, and exposure to leading-edge technologies. As the two countries continue strengthening economic ties, the horizons for growth expand even further.  


What are some job roles that could arise from this deal?

Trade analysts, supply chain managers, digital economy specialists, investment advisors, to name a few.

Which sectors will see the most growth due to CEPA?

Major gains are expected in labor-intensive exports like textiles, gems & jewelry, leather, and agricultural products from India. The UAE will benefit in areas like tourism, infrastructure, healthcare and real estate investments.

How will CEPA support small businesses?

By reducing trade barriers and duties, CEPA makes it easier for small businesses to tap into new cross-border opportunities. Investor protections also encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.

What are the visa reforms introduced under CEPA?

CEPA offers extended visas of up to 5 years for UAE work permits, 90 day short term business visas, and faster visa processing. This facilitates greater talent mobility.

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Pranav Modi

Mr. Pranav Modi, CA is supported by 12+ years of Consulting, Auditing and Accounting practice across diverse sectors.

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