GJEPC’s Outreach Program in Surat on India-UAE CEPA & India-Australia ECTA

“Government is negotiating FTAs with Canada, UK and Israel which would be concluded hopefully by the end of this year,” informs Colin Shah, Chairman GJEPC

Post By : IJ News Service On 09 May 2022 12:14 PM

The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council held its first such outreach program in Surat on May 5 with the objective to sensitise stakeholders, creating awareness about opportunities of the historic trade agreements with UAE and Australia. The event was graced by chief guest Parshottam Rupala, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, GOI; Darshana Jardosh, Minister of State for Railways & Textiles, GOI; Vipul Bansal, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, GOI and Dr. Srikar Reddy, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, GOI. Also in attendance were Dinesh Navadiya, Regional Chairman, Gujarat, GJEPC and Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director, GJEPC. Surat’s gem and jewellery industry will be one of the major beneficiaries of India-UAE CEPA and India-Australia ECTA as the city is a world leader in diamond manufacturing since decades and now emerging as the hub of diamond studded jewellery and lab grown diamond growing and manufacturing.

Chief guest, Parshottam Rupala, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, GOI said, “Our vision is to see bilateral economic and commercial exchanges with UAE and Australia growing exponentially in the future. A vision that aims to create mutually enriching, advanced economies at the horizon of human advancement. The government has delivered on its promise of creating a business-friendly ecosystem, it is now the stakeholders turn to step up and put this vision into action.” This shows the increased importance of India as the trade destination for the rest of the world. Rupala observed that this is perhaps the first time in the history of Surat that Government officials at the level of Joint Secretary were interacting directly with the trade and addressing their issues. Darshana Jardosh, Minister of State for Railways & Textiles, GOI, commented, “The trade agreements will bring in a new era of bilateral economic relations; the depth and range of market access agreed upon with both the UAE and Australia is unprecedented. CEPA and ECTA would facilitate to enhance the bilateral trade and investment flows, assist in our post-COVID economic recovery and drive future economic growth.” She further mentioned that the CEPA will largely benefit the trade of Rajkot, which deals mostly in plain gold. She encouraged Rajkot-based manufacturers to start exporting to UAE directly and said, “I estimate that the export with these two countries, Australia and UAE, will increase at least by 25% in current financial year itself.” Vipul Bansal, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, GOI said, “India-UAE CEPA was made operational on May 1, by flagging off the first three consignments of jewellery from New Delhi to Dubai which would be getting zero duty market access. We are currently negotiating with the UK, EU, Canada, Gulf Cooperation Council, Israel, and Southern African Customs Union for entering to trade agreements. We hope to conclude FTAs with some of these countries by end of this year. The government is committed to facilitate ease of doing business and give a competitive edge when catering to global markets.”

Dr Srikar Reddy, Joint Secretary, Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, GOI said, “I’m happy to be in the state of Gujarat, which contributes close to 25% of exports. UAE and Australia are very important export destinations and trading partners. Strategically too Australia’s an important part of the Quad, and  Quad 2, and thus PM Narendra Modi’s relations with the leadership of these nations has facilitated this not only from an economic point of view, but from a strategic point of view as well. The beauty of these trade agreements is that not only are we getting increased market access for our products, but whatever duty concessions we have given on raw materials like gold, aluminium, copper and petrochemicals are benefitting our domestic industry to become more competitive and will create more jobs.” Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC said, “Today we are seeing optimism across the gem and jewellery sector. The Council offered pro-industry suggestions for the India-UAE CEPA and India-Australia ECTA with the aim of unlocking India’s untapped potential. As these agreements come into force, we expect to see a major jump in exports in the coming years. It could create thousands of jobs in every segment of the pipeline as we will have to build our capacity to cater to this new opportunity. I understand that the Government is negotiating FTAs with Canada, UK and Israel which would be concluded hopefully by the end of this year. The agreements also present a big opportunity for domestic players who have not yet catered to foreign markets to start expanding their business. Through these FTAs, the government has kept its promise of facilitating and creating a business-friendly ecosystem. I’m sure that the many pro-active policy measures taken by the government will boost India’s gem and jewellery exports from $40 billion dollars to $75 billion dollars in the next five years.Dinesh Navadiya, Regional Chairman, Gujarat, GJEPC said that with this, India’s gem and jewellery exports to UAE could grow to the tune of USD 10 billion annually and we expect to double our exports to Australia from the current export of USD 315 million.

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