India is seeking to conclude a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) with the UAE to allow nurses, company secretaries, chartered accountants and dentists, among others, to gain faster entry to the UAE and other Gulf countries, according to a local media report.

“The recently formed sub-committee on services was needed to work on several areas such as MRAs. The UAE is a launch pad for GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and North Africa. Hence, it is significant in that regard,” Mint, India’s financial daily, reported, citing an unnamed government official.

As part of the free trade agreements, MRAs for services aim to recognise each country’s qualifications and academic certifications, allowing professionals from one nation to work in the other.

During the first joint trade committee meeting between India and the UAE earlier this week, the two sides decided to form a new sub-committee to handle issues related to services trade and share services trade data.

The number of resident Indians was estimated to be 3.5 million in 2021, the newspaper said, citing data from the Indian embassy in the UAE.

In May 2022, the UAE and India implemented the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to boost bilateral trade and economic ties.

Bilateral non-oil trade reached $50.5 billion from May 2022 to April 2023, a 5.8 percent increase year-on-year, according to initial figures from the UAE Ministry of Economy.

(Editing by Seban Scaria;)