UAE & Congo-Brazzaville conclude terms of CEPA

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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UAE and Congo-Brazzaville CEPA
Officials during online signing ceremony | WAM

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville have concluded the terms of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), a deal that will facilitate greater trade and investment flows as the two nations pursue deeper economic ties.

The conclusion of negotiations was confirmed by the signing of a joint statement by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Mr. Jean-Baptiste Ondaye, Minister of Economy and Finance for the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville.

Once ratified and implemented, the UAE-Congo-Brazzaville CEPA will reduce or remove tariffs, eliminate unnecessary trade barriers, improve market access, enhance customs procedures, and create platforms for investment and private sector collaboration in strategic sectors.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi_UAE & Vietnam CEPA
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade

“The conclusion of negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville marks an important progression in our efforts to strengthen economic ties not only with the African continent but a strategic partner with which we have seen non-oil trade more than double in the first half of 2023. A thriving economy in West-Central Africa, Congo-Brazzaville offers an important trade destination and gateway to wider Africa for our exporters, while in return the UAE offers a vital connection to Gulf and Asian markets. We look forward to ushering in this new era of cooperation and to expanding our presence in Africa as a trusted partner and investor.”

For his part, Mr. Jean-Baptiste Ondaye stated that “I have no doubt that the strategic partnership agreement with the United Arab Emirates that we have just concluded today will greatly contribute to the financing of structuring projects in Congo.”

The deal builds on growing bilateral cooperation between the two sides, which in the first half of 2023 saw non-oil trade increase 134 percent over the first half of 2022 to reach $2.1 billion. The deal also follows the signing of three strategic agreements between the nations in early 2023 including a double taxation avoidance agreement, an investment promotion and protection agreement, and an air transport agreement, as per the statement.

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