A stakeholders’ outreach programme on India’s Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) with Australia kickstarted from Hyderabad with a couple of Union Ministers and senior officials highlighting the CEPA and ECTA’s potential to enhance exports and create lakhs of new jobs in the country.
The agreements take the bilateral partnership with UAE and Australia to the next level, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel told the programme here on Saturday evening. Urging industry to make most of the opportunities, she said since it would be possible when the stakeholders are aware of details, the Ministry has decided to conduct the outreach programme in several major cities starting with Hyderabad, with export promotion councils such as Pharmexcil.
As one of the top exporters and known for strengths in pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, electronics, chemicals and minerals as well as agro products, Telangana stood to benefit from the agreements, she said. Assuring “help in every possible way” to grow exports from the State, she appreciated Telangana’s implementation of Districts as Export Hubs initiative of the Ministry. Noting Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mooted the scheme, she said District Export Promotion Councils had been constituted in 33 districts of the State.
“Telangana has got a huge potential, which is why we have come here to assure you we are there, [to] handhold and want you to contribute more to make India self reliant,” Ms.Patel said.
While the CEPA with UAE is scheduled to come into force on May 1, it would be a few months for the ECTA to be operationalised in view of elections in Australia. Besides facilitating a big jump in bilateral trade, the two agreements are expected to create 10 lakh jobs each. Noting that India is perceived as a trusted partner and conclusion of agreements will enable better integration into global supply chains, she said negotiations for free trade agreements with European Union, UK, Canada and the Gulf Cooperation Council and Israel were under way and a few likely to be finalised this year.
Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and Development of North Eastern Region G.Kishan Reddy said under the leadership of Mr.Modi, the country has made rapid strides on the exports front and come to be known for quality, reliability, scale as well as its stress on entrepreneurship and Make in India.
Joint Secretary to the Centre’s department of Commerce and Chief Negotiator of India-UAE CEPA Srikar K. Reddy, who is also nodal officer for Telangana, said the concessions given, under the agreement, will benefit India by way of imports.
Additional Secretary to the department and Chief Negotiator of India-Australia ECTA said over 400 consultations with stakeholders were conducted to ensure what “we get is best for the country, industry… we have ensured sensitivities are addressed.”
Telangana Industries and IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said forums to sort out issues faced by the State with regard to rail connectivity, Food Corporation of India and Central Warehousing Corporation were required.