India and the United Arab Emirates celebrated the first anniversary of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Commemorating the 1st year of India-UAE CEPA, apex trade body Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) launched the first-of-its-kind India Jewellery Exposition Centre (IJEX), the 365-day exhibition platform in Dubai.
IJEX is a 365-day exhibition and showcasing venue in Dubai located at the new Gold Souk in Deira, Dubai. This would be a much-needed platform for MSME jewellers to exhibit their indigenously products on a regular continuous basis in the Middle East market. Since the Middle East market accounts for 30% of India’s gem and jewellery exports, IJEX will enable India’s MSME manufacturers to take advantage of India-UAE CEPA to expand in the WANA region.
Commemorating this historic milestone, officials from both India and the UAE convened in Dubai at a gala function on 9th May 2023. Present on the occasion were Mr. Rajesh Kumar Singh (Secretary, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India); His Excellency Sunjay Sudhir, (Ambassador of India to UAE); His Excellency Juma Al Kait (Assistant Undersecretary - Foreign Trade Affairs at Ministry of Economy, UAE); Dr. Srikar K. Reddy (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India); Mr. Sanjiv, (Joint Secretary, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India) along with Mr. Kirit Bhansali (Vice Chairman, GJEPC).
The CEPA has been a boon to the bilateral trade relations between the two nations, with India-UAE trade growing by 16% to reach USD 84.5 billion in the fiscal year 2022-23, up from USD 72.9 billion the previous year. Of this, India's exports to the UAE grew by 11.8% to USD 31.3 billion, with the gem & jewellery sector witnessing particularly an impressive surge of 16.54% to USD 5.77 billion.
Rajesh Kumar Singh (Secretary, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India) said, “CEPA is one of the most ambitious pacts. The depth and range of market access and services it provides is unprecedented, benefitting all stakeholders. India's exports to UAE have exceeded $30 billion, with gems & jewellery and plastics deriving benefits from lower priced inputs. GJEPC has set up IJEX and I see tremendous value in such initiatives. CEPA will accelerate business momentum and is expected to transform the scale and scope of bilateral partnerships."
His Excellency Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to UAE, said, “The historic India-UAE CEPA is a major trade agreement to transform bilateral economic, trade and investment ties and propel economic growth. The agreement also holds promise as a gateway for the Indian exporters to emerging economies in the Middle East and Africa. The gems & jewellery sector is among the industries which are poised to a gain considerably from CEPA. With IJEX , Gems and Jewellery Sector will continue to serve as a catalyst for deeper collaboration and commercial engagement between the two nations".
His Excellency Juma Al Kait (Assistant Undersecretary - Foreign Trade Affairs at Ministry of Economy, UAE) said, “Today as we celebrate the achievements of the CEPA, let's create an alliance of growth that will kick-start an era of prosperity, focusing on critical supply chains. UAE and India are writing a new chapter in their longstanding partnership, playing a key role in each other's success. Gems & jewellery is central to our partnership, and gold is UAE's biggest non-oil export commodity. Our next trading goal should be US$ 100 billion by 2030. CEPA is living up to its promise, and we must keep pursuing new partnerships, so that CEPA delivers for everybody.”
Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC said, “The Gems & Jewellery sector is among the industries that have gained significantly from CEPA. India’s exports in this sector have witnessed an impressive growth of 16.54% to USD 5.77 billion in 2022-23 as compared to previous year. I am sure the Indian jewellery industry would make the most of this opportunity and take the exports the gem & jewellery exports to the pre-Covid level of USD 10 billion to UAE very soon. With continued support and cooperation, we can take our bilateral trade relations to new heights and achieve greater success.”
Kirit Bhansali, Vice Chairman, GJEPC, said, “The 1st anniversary of the CEPA marks a significant milestone in the economic relations between India and the UAE. The India Jewellery Exposition Centre is a step towards strengthening these ties further, it will facilitate the micro, small and medium manufacturers of gems and jewellery, who do not have the wherewithal to have their office set up at Dubai, to market their products in entire MENA and CIS region taking advantage of CEPA. This setup will serve as a valuable window for buyers in the region, showcasing the diverse range of products offered by India. Our efforts would be to set up more such India Jewellery Exposition Centers in major and emerging markets in the world.”
Dr. Srikar Reddy, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India said,
“India's merchandise exports last year grew 5% to $447 billion, and the Commerce & Industry Minister has set an ambitious target of $1 trillion. The UAE will act as an important gateway to achieving this goal, and our aim is to increase trade through CEPA which was built on trust, openness, and flexibility. At the newly operationalised IJEX, I’m happy to see the exuberance and enthusiasm among the first-time participants entering the UAE market. We must hold reverse buyer-seller meets to attract buyers from regions like Africa and the Middle East.”
Today, the mentioned officials visited the IJEX center, where they had the opportunity to interact with exhibitors and witness the various products on display. IJEX is showcasing products from following companies from India including Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas, Champalal Jewellers by Rajesh Modi, Elvee Jewels Private Limited, Haribhai Gems and Jewellery, Kohinoor Jewellers, Limelight Lab Grown Diamonds Limited, Pushpa Jewellers Private Limited, and Rajwarah Jewellers Pvt. Ltd.
The India Jewellery Centre, IJEX, showcases the finest jewellery pieces from India to buyers from all around the world, including the Middle East market, North Africa, CIS countries, and beyond. By bringing together buyers and manufacturers, IJEX aims to generate transactable business that will ultimately increase exports. IJEX is a year-round business-to-business initiative that offers GJEPC members an opportunity to display their goods and book orders from overseas buyers. The facility allots 10 cubicles on a first-come, first-served basis for three months.
CEPA has made gold cheaper for Indian manufacturers, with 1% cheaper gold being made available from the UAE. At the same time, Indian jewellery exports to the UAE have become 5% cheaper in comparison to other competing nations like Malaysia, Turkey, etc. This reduction in costs has resulted in a 16.54% increase in Indian jewellery exports to the UAE in just one year. This mutually beneficial arrangement has allowed Indian jewellers to capitalise on the tax laws of both countries.