United Arab Emirates – India Trade Agreement
Why in News
• India and the UAE have signed the landmark Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which aims to increase trade in goods between the two countries to $100 billion over the next five years.
• The agreement was signed during the virtual summit meeting between the Prime Minister of India and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
• Addressing a joint press conference with Mr. Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy of the UAE and Dr. Thani Al Zayoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Mr. Piyush Goyal said that India is celebrating its 75th year of independence and the UAE Celebrating 50 years of establishment.
• Therefore, it is an absolutely opportune time to re-establish relations between the two countries and take it to greater heights than ever before.
• CEPA will create 10 lakh jobs in several labor intensive sectors. He said that the major sectors like gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, footwear, furniture, agricultural and food products, plastics, engineering goods, medicine, medical equipment, sporting goods etc. will be benefited by this agreement and for our youth in a big way. Jobs will be created.
• Many things have been included for the first time in the CEPA Agreement. He said the UAE has agreed to self-register and approve Indian drugs subject to regulatory approvals in developed countries such as the US, EU, UK and Japan.
• The Minister of Commerce and Industry said that the agreement includes stricter rules of origin, as well as a permanent security arrangement that can be used in the event of a sudden increase in imports. This will prevent the import of products from other countries on the CEPA route.
• Several other agreements were also signed between the two countries today including MoU between APEDA and DP Worldch & Al Dahra on ‘Food Security Corridor Initiative’ for UAE and GIFT City (IFSCA) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Memorandum of Understanding between
India and UAE Bilateral Relations
• The bilateral relations between India and the United Arab Emirates have strengthened over the years in all areas of mutual interest; the two sides launched a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2017.
• The leaders of the two countries have been in regular contact over the years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the two countries cooperate closely in the critical areas of health and food security to fight the pandemic.
• Ministerial visits are also on between the two sides. This strategic partnership formed the basis of the CEPA signed between the two countries.
• Bilateral trade, investment and energy ties between India and the United Arab Emirates remain strong.
• The signing of CEPA is a testimony to the long standing bilateral trade and investment relations. Both sides are also strengthening their cooperation in new areas of renewable energy such as green hydrogen, climate change control measures, start-ups, skilling, fintech and healthtech.
• UAE is India’s third largest trading partner and bilateral trade is expected to exceed US$ 60 billion in the current financial year.
• India ranks first as the UAE’s largest trading partner for non-oil exports, accounting for about 14 per cent of UAE’s total non-oil exports globally.
• CEPA can increase bilateral trade to more than US$ 100 billion within five years.
• The landmark trade agreement is expected to lay down a roadmap for a shared vision for the future, which envisages stronger, more resilient economies that provide lasting happiness and well-being to the peoples of both countries.
GS PAPER II
Why in News
• The Government of India, the state governments of Karnataka and Odisha and the World Bank have signed a $115 million (Rs 869 crore) program (Rejuvenation of the Watershed Zone to Sustainable Agriculture through Innovative Development) Will help national and state institutions to adopt better practices of watershed area management.
• This will help in increasing the tolerance of farmers towards climate change and will also lead to higher production and better income.
• Government of India is committed to re-fertilize 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 and doubling farmers’ income by 2023.
• Effective watershed area management will help in enhancing livelihoods in rainfed areas, thereby creating a sustainable food system. In this context, the new program; Help the participating State Governments to transform watershed area management planning and execution modalities and adopt science-based planning, which is repeatable across the country.
• This program will also help the participating as well as other states to adopt a new approach for watershed area development.
• The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need for sustainable and risk-free agriculture in India, which protects farmers from climate uncertainties and supports their livelihoods.
• India already has a strong institutional framework for watershed area development, with a renewed focus on science-based, data-driven approaches to be implemented under this project to help farmers in climate change situations New opportunities may be available.
• One of the world’s largest watershed zone management programs is being implemented in India. The program will drive progress by developing and implementing comprehensive spatial data and technologies, decision support tools and knowledge sharing.
• The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) will provide $60 million (Rs 453.5 crore) to Karnataka, $49 million (Rs 370 crore) to Odisha and the remaining $6 million (Rs 45.5 crore) to the Union Government’s Department of Land Resources. The $115 million (Rs 869 crore) loan has a maturity period of 15 years, including a grace period of 4.5 years.
GS PAPER III
Gobar-Dhan (Bio-CNG) Plant
Why in News
• The Prime Minister will inaugurate the “Gobar-Dhan (Bio-CNG) Plant” in Indore through video conferencing.
• The Prime Minister had recently launched the Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 with a holistic vision of creating a “waste free city”.
• The mission is being implemented under the overarching principles of “Waste to Wealth”, and “Circular Economy” to maximize resource recovery – both of which have been exemplified by the Indore Bio-CNG Plant has gone.
• The plant has the capacity to treat 550 tonnes of segregated wet organic waste per day. This is expected to produce around 17,000 kg of CNG per day and 100 tonnes of organic manure per day.
• This plant is based on zero landfill models, which will not generate any waste. Apart from this, the project is expected to have many environmental benefits, such as reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, organic manure as fertilizer as well as providing green energy.
• Indore Clean Energy Private Limited is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) designed to implement this project which has been set up by Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) and Indo Enviro Integrated Solutions Limited (IEISL) under a private-public partnership model. In which IEISL had made 100% capital investment of Rs 150 crore.
• Indore Municipal Corporation will procure minimum 50% of the CNG produced by this plant and run 400 city buses on CNG in a first of its kind initiative.
• The remaining quantity of CNG will be sold in the open market. These organic manures will help in replacing chemical fertilizers for purposes like agriculture and horticulture.
GS PAPER III