Jafza cements growing trade ties with India following CEPA launch - GulfToday

Jafza cements growing trade ties with India following CEPA launch


Abdulla Bin Damithan speaks during an event in New Delhi.

DP World’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) is supporting the growth of India – UAE bilateral trade relations by outlining its efforts to drive towards the $100 billion goal for non-oil trade over the next five years. Plans for growth were highlighted at a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) event in Delhi, India, on 11th May, where Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO & Managing Director, DP World UAE & Jafza, addressed an audience on why ‘Dubai is India’s Gateway to the World‘.

Following the launch of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which came into force last year, the exclusive event outlined the major opportunities for Indian businesses in the UAE, which include lower or eliminated tariffs and an open and non-discriminatory environment for cross-border trade. As per IHS Markit, the bilateral trade between India and the UAE increased from $68 billion in 2021 to $84 billion in 2022, registering a year-on-year growth of 23%. Jafza currently serves over 9,500 companies from 130 countries, with the Jafza-India route handling 19% of non-oil trade between the UAE and India, making it India’s largest supporting ecosystem for trade.

With its India-UAE Bridge initiative, Jafza aims to reduce time and cost of shipping goods between India and the UAE by providing a seamless and efficient logistics solution and creating new business opportunities for companies in both countries, particularly in sectors such as manufacturing, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare, etc. The initiative is a major step towards strengthening the economic ties between India and the UAE and promoting greater trade and investment between the two nations.

“The announcement of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) last year is already having tangible benefits for India – UAE trade relations. Tariffs have been eliminated on more than 10,000 products and services over the next 10 years, which will provide a major impact on trade between the countries and the wider Gulf region. Jebel Ali Port and Jafza have played a crucial role in boosting trade between the two countries, and we look forward to further contributing to the growth of trade between India and the UAE,” said Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO & Managing Director, DP World UAE & Jafza.

Speaking to business leaders from across India, Abdulla Bin Damithan highlighted Jafza’s unique value proposition and how the Free Zone can play a catalytic role for Indian companies to expand operations into foreign markets and strengthen their global value chains.

In the Free Zone alone, Indian companies are the second largest partners in terms of trade volume and are fourth in terms of trade value. Jafza supports the ‘Make in India’ Initiative and ‘Production Linked Incentive’ schemes to boost manufacturing, investments, and exports in India via its Jebel Ali hub, offering unmatched logistics and trade solutions and greater access to new markets.

As part of Dubai Traders Market, Bharat Bazaar, the Free Zone’s mega-distribution centre with its showrooms and warehouses, will allow Indian traders to serve local and global customers from a single hybrid business platform for wholesale and retail via Jafza.

Jafza also links businesses to Jebel Ali Port’s F&B Terminal, which spans over one million square meters and offers dedicated facilities such as cereal silos, covered warehouses, and refrigerated container storage yards that cater to the specific needs of the food and beverage industry.

Together, the Port and Free Zone offer a comprehensive logistics solution that can help Indian companies thrive.

Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, recently shared the latest UAE-India trade figures, highlighting that the value of bilateral non-oil trade between the two nations reached $45.5 billion in the first 11 months of the UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement – a 6.9 per cent increase from the previous 12-month period, despite the downturn in global trade in Q3 and Q4, 2022.

Speaking during the launch of CEPA Beyond Trade, a special event held on the opening day of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) in Abu Dhabi to celebrate the first anniversary of the UAE-India CEPA, the minister also stated that bilateral trade surged ahead in Q1, 2023, climbing 24.7 per cent on the previous quarter, with UAE non-oil exports to India climbing an impressive 33 percent.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “One of the central goals of the UAE-India CEPA is to increase the flow of goods and services between our nations – and, by doing so, stimulate key export sectors, drive industrial output and kick-start an exciting new era of prosperity. These figures underline the pace of our progress. The UAE and India have created an alliance for growth, a platform for deeper cooperation and economic integration that will reap considerable rewards over the long term.”

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