Economic Powerhouse: The UAE’s Ambitious CEPA Journey to Global Prosperity

UAE Media Office

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is leaving no stone unturned in its quest to solidify its position as a global trade and economic powerhouse. With an unwavering determination, the nation has embarked on an ambitious journey to forge Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPAs) with countries across the globe, cementing its commitment to economic diversification and fostering robust bilateral relations.

The UAE’s CEPA program has been a resounding success, spanning four continents and encompassing a diverse range of partners, including India, Türkiye, Indonesia, Cambodia, Georgia, Ukraine, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mauritius, and South Korea. The country is also currently holding talks to conclude new deals with Serbia, Vietnam, the Philippines, New Zealand, Ecuador and Malaysia, further expanding its economic reach.

Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi , the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, emphasized the profound impact of these agreements, stating, “Trade is a bridge that has connected our products, skills, and natural resources to the world. As underlined by the ‘We The UAE 2031’ vision, trade is now a cornerstone of our economic development and diversification ambitions.”

The UAE’s ambitious goal of signing 26 CEPAs, encompassing 21 countries and five economic blocs, is a testament to its commitment to attracting more investment and diversifying its economy. These agreements offer far-reaching benefits, including the elimination of almost all tariffs, the removal of trade barriers in vital sectors such as energy, resources, healthcare, advanced industries, smart farms, and bio-economy, and greater access to the fast-growing markets of the Middle East and Asia. This strategic move not only eliminates trade barriers but also paves the way for seamless market access, reduced tariffs, and simplified customs procedures, creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

The impact of the CEPA program is already tangible, with the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade hitting a record AED3.5 trillion ($1 trillion) in 2023, up from AED2.23 trillion in 2022, as trade with its top 10 most important foreign partners grew by an impressive 26%. This remarkable growth is a testament to the effectiveness of the CEPA program in boosting the UAE’s economic prowess.

The UAE’s CEPA initiative transcends mere economic gains; it also serves as a catalyst for fostering stronger bilateral relations and promoting mutual understanding and cooperation. The recent signing of the CEPA agreement withSouth Korea, the 10th CEPA deal, is a prime example of this. This agreement was finalized during President Sheikh Mohamed’s visit to Seoul, where he met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. The CEPA aims to strengthen East-West supply chains and facilitate two-way foreign direct investment flows. It will also promote joint research and knowledge exchange in sectors like energy, advanced manufacturing, technology, food security, and healthcare. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber , UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, highlighted that the CEPA will enable businesses and entrepreneurs from both countries to collaborate and drive growth through innovation.

As the UAE continues to forge ahead with its CEPA program, the world watches in anticipation, eager to witness the transformative impact these agreements will have on the global economic landscape. The UAE’s CEPA initiative is more than just a series of trade deals; it is a blueprint for economic prosperity, a catalyst for bilateral cooperation, and a testament to the nation’s unwavering determination to shape a brighter, more prosperous future for its people and the world at large.

June 7, 2024

Written by Genan Wishah

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