India and UAE have partnered together to create a virtual trade corridor to enable quick clearance of shipments and this is done via online approvals and clearances. The whole objective is to cut costs (eliminate duties for 90% of India’s exports in value for sectors like gems and jewellery, leather, engineering goods and textiles) and time for customs clearance and hasten bilateral trade.
Under the virtual trade corridor proposal, the customs officials of both countries will look into the possibility of accessing pre-arrival info for cargo movement which will make cross-validation of information faster and enable pre-clearance of goods.
India-UAE bilateral non-oil trade increased by 4.8% in the April-December period of the current fiscal to $35.66bn and New Delhi’s exports to Abu Dhabi were at $23.3 bn in the April-December period, posting a 16.4% progress. Imports from the UAE stood at $40.7bn during this period, posting a year-on-year growth of 24.6%.
Arpita Mukherjee, professor of ICRIER stated that last year gems and jewellery were allowed through express mode in the Union budget. She further added that agencies like the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) could validate documents before arrival for the consignment and flag concerns in case of incomplete or incorrect documents or information. This will quicken the process needed for perishable cargo like food.
Along similar lines, Ajay Sahai, DG and CEO of FEO (Federation of Indian Exports Organizations’) commented that such a measure should also be extended to India’s other key markets to boost exports as it is a welcome initiative that will allow seamless flow of exports from both the nations.