UAE & Vietnam sign declaration of intent to launch CEPA negotiation

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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UAE-Vitenam CEPA negotiations
Image Courtesy; WAM

The UAE and Vietnam have signed a joint declaration of intent to establish a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between the two countries.

The declaration was signed by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Mr. Nguyễn Hồng Diên, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade, during a visit by a Vietnamese delegation to the UAE.

During the meeting with the Vietnamese minister, Dr. Al Zeyoudi underlined the strong and solid bilateral relations between the UAE and Vietnam, which continue to grow in all fields, particularly trade and the economy. The launch of CEPA negotiations is the result of a shared aspiration on the part of both governments to elevate the existing trade and economic ties to new heights.

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

“The UAE is Vietnam’s number one Arab trade partner, accounting for 39 percent of its total trade with the Arab countries. The volume of non-oil trade between the two sides reached around $8 billion in 2022. The trade in goods other than mobile phones and their accessories, which grew to 46 percent from less than 36 percent in 2019, is promising. It totaled over $3.5 billion last year, up 9 percent from 2021, and with a 34 and 26 percent growth from 2020 and 2019 respectively.”

Dr. Al Zeyoudi added that “We look forward to strengthening our economic and trade partnerships through the UAE’s global economic partnerships program, especially since Vietnam is our largest trade partner in the ASEAN as of 2022. We are pleased to begin the process of signing a CEPA. The agreement will boost economic and trade cooperation in unprecedented ways, support the private sector’s access to both markets, and drive new investment opportunities, which will result in a higher volume of trade exchanges.”

Both sides addressed promoting joint collaboration in the fields of trade, investment, economy, industry, energy, logistics, agriculture, and infrastructure as the CEPA process unfolds.

Furthermore, Dr. Al Zeyoudi urged the Vietnamese private sector to take advantage of the UAE’s NextGenFDI initiative, which offers a wide array of incentives to participants. These include relocation support, easy access to bank financing and commercial and residential rental incentives, and expedited business setup process and issuance of licenses, visas, and golden visas, which ensure a smoother market entry process for management and employees.

Mr. Hong Dien said there were huge “potential and opportunities from the agreement for both countries. The UAE has strengths as a trans-shipment, financial and logistics center, while Vietnam is also becoming a factory for many crucial, global industries.”

Related: UAE-Israel CEPA to come into effect on April 1