Duty-Free Access Sought for Eggs, Textiles, Spices

India has sought duty-free market access for its spices, eggs, cheese and textiles in the UAE as part of the free-trade agreement it is negotiating with the grouping.

At present, the UAE has banned poultry imports from Indian due to concerns over bird flu while Indian’s textile exports are levied a 5% duty.

“We are keen to sell poultry products to the UAE and are hopeful they will allow imports from India, starting with eggs as eggs are a big market there,” said an official, adding that India has assured that it is following the biosafety norms set by the World Organization for Animal Health to prevent infection.

As per the official, the UAE is keen to get duty concessions for dates, confectionery and sugar-based products.

Indian is keen to get duty-free access for its fresh and frozen bovine neat, cheese, spices, certain organic chemicals and paper products. It has identified 1,100-odd products including washing machines, ACs, refrigerators, spices, tobacco, cotton fabrics, textiles and leather whose exports it wants to increase through the pact.

“Politically this agreement is important as Pakistan was insisting the UAE to not ink any pact with India but the UAE has ignored it,” said a trade expert, adding that India stands to gain in services and could push for long-term business visas with the UAE. S-ET

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