Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

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India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are gearing up for a review of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that may see discussions towards the integration of key portals of both nations to boost trade.

About Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA):

  • It is a type of free trade pact that covers negotiation on the trade in services and investment, and other areas of economic partnership.
  • CEPA also looks into the regulatory aspect of trade and encompasses an agreement covering the regulatory issues.

What are the types of Trade Agreements?

  • Free Trade Agreement: It is an agreement in which two or more countries agree to provide preferential trade terms, tariff concession etc. to the partner country. Here a negative list of products and services is maintained on which the terms of FTA are not applicable.
  • Preferential Trade Agreement: In this, two or more partners give preferential right of entry to certain products. This is done by reducing duties on an agreed number of tariff lines. India signed a PTA with Afghanistan.
  • Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement: It is more comprehensive than an FTA. CECA/CEPA also looks into the regulatory aspect of trade.
  • Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement: CECA generally covers negotiation on trade tariffs and TQR rates only. It is not as comprehensive as CEPA. India has signed CECA with Malaysia.
  • Framework agreement: It primarily defines the scope and provisions of the orientation of the potential agreement between the trading partners. It provides for some new areas of discussion and set the period for future liberalisation. India has previously signed framework agreements with the ASEAN, Japan etc


Q1) What is the role of WTO?

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments.

Source: India-UAE partnership: CEPA review to focus on key data sharing