HomeThe Virtual CrunchBack India, UAE explore virtual trade corridor to fast-track shipments

Back India, UAE explore virtual trade corridor to fast-track shipments

Dubai: India and the UAE are exploring creating a virtual trade corridor to facilitate quicker clearance of shipments. Under the proposal, approvals and clearances related to customs will be given online on both sides.

The move is aimed at cutting the cost and time for customs clearance and speed up bilateral trade. It will complement the bilateral comprehensive free trade agreement signed between India and the UAE last year, which immediately eliminated duties for 90% of India’s exports in value terms covering sectors like gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, and engineering goods.

Under the virtual trade corridor proposal, the customs authorities of the two countries will explore the possibility of accessing pre-arrival information for cargo movement, making cross-validation of information significantly faster, besides facilitating pre-clearance of goods.

The two countries estimate non-oil trade to touch $100bn over the five-year period post implementation of the free trade agreement on 1 May, 2022. “The idea of virtual corridor is to fast- track shipments. It will explore if can do the clearances in an online way… especially for very important hubs like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which connect India and the rest of the world. If, paperwork and approvals for the consignments can happen in India, then it will take no time in their pass through to the UAE… so that’s something which is being considered on both sides,” India’s Ambassador to the UAE, Sunjay Sudhir told Mint.

The UAE last year signed an agreement with Kuwait to set up a virtual trade corridor.

India-UAE bilateral non-oil trade grew by 4.8% in the April-December period of the current fiscal to $35.66bn.

New Delhi’s exports to the Abu Dhabi stood at $23.3 bn in the April-December period, posting a 16.4% growth. Imports from the UAE stood at $40.7bn during this period, posting a year-on-year growth of 24.6%.

“The concerned authorities in both countries are currently exploring this area of cooperation in order to agree to a mutually beneficial implementation approach,” a spokesperson for the ministry of commerce and industry said. During the India-UAE High Level Joint Task Force on Investments meeting in October last year, the two sides decided to explore establishment of efficient and integrated Single Window Solutions and Virtual Trade Corridors to reduce time and cost in trade.


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