UAE & Ecuador intends to begin CEPA negotiations

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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UAE & Ecuador CEPA negotiations
Rep.Image | Courtesy: WAM

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Sonsoles Garcia, Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries of Ecuador, have signed a joint statement announcing the intention to begin negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), as part of the UAE delegation’s visit to several Latin American countries.

This announcement comes after the UAE signed similar agreements with Costa Rica and Colombia, the first two countries in Latin America to sign last week. The move underscores the UAE’s strategic intent to deepen its commercial and investment presence across Latin America, thereby fostering sustainable economic growth.

The partnership aims to substantially enhance non-oil bilateral trade while fostering increased investment flows between the two nations. By eliminating trade barriers and facilitating the exchange of a wide array of goods and services, this partnership opens new economic opportunities for both countries regarding exports and imports.

Additionally, it allows Ecuadorian firms to leverage the UAE’s economic prowess and geographical advantage and provides Emirati businesses and investors with a robust entry point into Latin American markets, beginning with Ecuador.

In 2023, non-oil bilateral trade between the UAE and Ecuador surged to $675 million, marking a remarkable 76 percent increase compared to 2022 and more than tripling the figures recorded in 2021. Furthermore, Dubai Ports World’s substantial investment in Ecuador’s Port of Posorja, valued at $1.2 billion, is a testament to the burgeoning economic ties between the two countries.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi underscored that the commencement of negotiations with Ecuador aligns with the UAE’s ongoing efforts to cement its status as a global trade, investment, and logistical hub. These efforts aim to expand trade relations with influential global partners like Ecuador, a key trading and investment ally, with shared objectives of driving sustainable economic growth in both nations.

Al Zeyoudi emphasized the vast opportunities for establishing deeper economic integration between the UAE and Ecuador, particularly in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, technology, renewable energy, and others of mutual interest.

In turn, Minister Garcia emphasized the enduring and evolving trade ties between Ecuador and the UAE, driven by mutual interests in advancing cooperation across various economic domains.

Garcia stressed that the initiation of CEPA negotiations with the UAE represents a pivotal step in expanding economic ties, with active participation from both countries’ business communities, private sectors, and investors.

Related | UAE signs CEPA with Colombia to boost trade & investment