The UAE-Türkiye CEPA: Shattering Boundaries, Igniting Growth

Hamad Al Kaabi / UAE Presidential Court

The UAE-Türkiye Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) marks a groundbreaking moment, providing a multitude of opportunities for entrepreneurs, businesses, investors, and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (#SMEs) in both nations. This comprehensive agreement aims to eliminate trade barriers, promote investment, and cultivate an environment conducive to innovation and growth.

A primary objectives of the #CEPA is to provide UAE businesses with enhanced market access and certainty in the Turkish market. The agreement secures commitments from Türkiye to ensure UAE service businesses can compete fairly in key sectors such as finance, distribution, telecommunication, education, healthcare, and travel-related services. By establishing clear and transparent trade rules, the CEPA simplifies business operations and encourages the expansion and export of services to Türkiye and beyond.

For entrepreneurs and businesses engaged in trade in goods, the CEPA brings significant benefits through reduced barriers. It provides for streamlined customs procedures, lower or zero tariffs on over 83% of tariff lines covering 93% of non-oil bilateral trade value, and modernized trade rules. These measures empower new and existing UAE exporters to Türkiye, enabling easier and more cost-effective trade.

SMEs, the backbone of both economies, are a focal point of the CEPA. The agreement provides a platform for UAE-based SMEs to seize exciting opportunities in Türkiye’s market, with enhanced access to new customers, networks, collaboration opportunities, and mechanisms for rapid scaling. With SMEs accounting for 95% of companies operating in the UAE and contributing over over 50% of the nation’s GDP, making their growth and expansion crucial for economic diversification.

Recognizing the digital economy’s significance, the CEPA ensures online consumer protection, facilitates the free flow of data, and encourages the use of digital technologies in business. By minimizing obstacles in the digital realm, the agreement promotes investment in new technologies and accelerates digital transformation, creating opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs and tech-savvy businesses.

Moreover, the agreement promotes future cooperation in areas related to trade and investment promotion, electronic commerce, industrial and agricultural trade, financial services, and halal products. This collaboration fosters an environment conducive to exploring new avenues for growth and diversification.

The economic impact of the CEPA is projected to be substantial. Estimates suggest that the value of non-oil trade between the UAE and Türkiye could surge from $18.9 billion (AED 70 billion) to $40 billion (AED 146 billion) within the next five years, a remarkable increase of over 110%. Additionally, the agreement is anticipated to create a total of 25,000 new jobs across both countries by 2031, contributing significantly to employment and economic growth.

The UAE-Türkiye CEPA symbolizes 50 years of trusted unity, presenting an immense opportunity for jointly tackling economic growth, climate change, education, and technological challenges through sustainable collaboration towards shared prosperity. As the UAE prioritizes bolstering trade flows and supply chains globally, this agreement fosters a business-friendly environment, reducing barriers. It empowers entrepreneurs, investors, and SMEs to thrive, driving economic diversification and shared prosperity between both nations committed to this steadfast partnership.

June 11, 2024

Written by Genan Wishah

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