UAE & Turkey sign CEPA to enhance economic cooperation & trade growth

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, has signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the Republic of Turkey, aimed at the culmination of diplomatic relations spanning over 50 years and the continuation of the momentum of their economic cooperation and trade growth.

The Minister noted that Turkey was the UAE’s sixth-largest trading partner in 2022, recording a growth of 40 percent compared to 2021, with UAE-Türkiye non-oil foreign trade reaching US$18.9 billion last year.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi added that the UAE-Turkey CEPA will see tariffs removed from 83 percent of the commodities in the two countries, along with liberalising non-oil trade for 93 percent of the commodities. According to the statement, the volume of trade exchange between the two countries is expected to grow to over US$40 billion annually within five years, in addition to creating over 25,000 jobs, especially in the skilled labour sectors, in the UAE by 2031, with the UAE’s exports to Turkey expected to grow by 20 percent during the next stage.

The fourth CEPA with Turkey will allow the UAE to enter new markets that reach more than 2.2 billion people, including the Greater Arab Free Trade Area Agreement that was signed more than 15 years ago, serving as impetus for the UAE’s global market expansion.

According to the minister, the four agreements will contribute to an over 2.4 percent increase in the country’s GDP by 2031, further driving the growth of UAE exports by adding US$120 billion over the next 10 years. Dr. Al Zeyoudi further pointed out that this will create more economic and trade opportunities, and the UAE’s economy will be linked to more than 10 percent of the global economy, ensuring significant expansion in the country’s economy.

“We are in the process of finalising two new agreements with Cambodia and Georgia within the next 3 to 4 weeks, as well as two agreements with Kenya, which are 85 percent agreed upon,” the Minister explained, adding that this serves as an important gateway to Africa.

UAE is expected to utilise CEPAs to expand its partnerships with ASEAN countries, with negotiations already under way with Thailand and Vietnam.

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