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India Flags Key Agri-sector Issues, Rice Export in Meeting with UAE Minister

India on Friday flagged to the UAE some of the issues faced by its agriculture sector, including problems faced by rice exporters, during a meeting here.

S Vikramjit Singh, MP, Chair, India-Arab Council, and Member of the India-UAE Joint Task Force, met Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade of UAE and discussed various areas of bilateral cooperation.

Singh said that trade with the UAE would take new dimensions with two major bilateral agreements already in place. He also flagged issues faced by the Indian agriculture exporters to the Gulf nation.

“Major discussions took place between both sides regarding trade between India and the UAE after the conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and the Free Trade Agreement (FTA),” Singh said in a statement.

Singh, a member of the India-UAE Joint Task Force, flagged the key issues faced by the agriculture sector regarding the rejection of rice exports from India due to the presence of pesticide residue.

“He emphasised on having accredited labs of mutually-acceptable standards together with fast-track approval for Pharma products from India,” said the statement.

Singh also requested the minister to reduce the minimum threshold for investment, for 100 per cent ownership in health and other sectors, which is currently pegged at AED 100 million.

Singh requested the minister for early conclusion of the UAE-India Bilateral Investment Treaty, to streamline the working of India and UAE joint ventures, the statement said.

“Minister of State for Foreign Trade of the UAE expressed his satisfaction on deeper engagement with India in trade and investment and assured UAE’s investment in India,” it said.

Singh also stressed on bilateral trade and the key areas between Punjab and the UAE. On behalf of Punjab’s Chief Minister, Singh also discussed investment in the infrastructure sector, basmati export and agri-processing sectors by the UAE in Punjab.

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