UAE, Chile discuss Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement


Reem Al Hashimi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, with Rodrigo Yanez at the Chile pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai.

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

Chile at the Expo 2020 Dubai celebrated the country’s National Day and stated that negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE, initiated at the start of the expo to strengthen bilateral trade relations, are all set to begin soon.

The Chilean officials at the Expo 2020 said the decision to begin the CEPA negotiations on the auspicious occasion of the National Day comes in the context of the robust growth in the country’s trade last year with the UAE at $260 million.

Speaking at the National Day official ceremony at the Expo,  Rodrigo Yanez, Vice Minister of Trade, Chile, said, “It’s an honour to visit Expo again after inauguration of the pavilion in October. It has been five months of intense work together. We have received over 100k people who have seen our gastronomy, art, and innovations. About 110 companies have invested here and this is proof that our participation at Expo 2020 is relevant. The Expo has ignited a flame in us to set up better relations for the wellbeing of people of both the nations.”

“Our participation here is a result of three years of diplomatic relations. For Chile, the UAE is a strong partner. We have signed an agreement with the UAE government to begin negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). We hope to strengthen the bridges that connect both the countries through our successful participation at Expo,” he added.

“The CEPA will be an ambitious milestone in the UAE-Chile relationship, taking it further to a privileged partnership between the two countries in trade. It is also significant that this is the UAE’s first trade treaty with a Latin American country, while for Chile, it is a first ever in the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region,” said  Yanez further said.

“The CEPA will add further momentum to bilateral trade, becoming a fruitful platform for a more prosperous, modern and dynamic economic relationship between Chile and the UAE. Moreover, the newly forged bilateral understanding will also help both countries adequately face common challenges paving the way for renewal of economies and social development,” he added.

The CEPA was initiated in October 2021 at the kickoff of Expo 2020 Dubai by the Chilean Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yanez and the Minister of Trade of the UAE, Thani Al Zeyoudi.

Over the last decade, bilateral trade has been on a growth trail with Chilean exports to the UAE growing at an annual average rate 6 per cent, while imports to the Latin American country continuing to increase at 18.6 per cent.

It is envisaged that the CEPA will include agreements on sanitary and phytosanitary measures, rules of origin, digital economy, SMES and intellectual property protection, among a host of others. The CEPA will help foster mutually beneficial and comprehensive growth of trade in goods and services, investment, economic cooperation.

‘For both Chile and the UAE, the CEPA is a priority, and we will look forward to conclude it at the earliest to reap the benefits,” said  Yanez, adding that the agreement will also nurture online commerce and will go hand in hand with market access, increased investment flows, while offering an opportunity to reduce tariffs and streamline customs procedures at both ends.

The agreement will also support Chile’s ambition to increase its presence and networks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, particularly with the UAE with which Chile shares many commonalities.

Terra: Terra – Expo 2020 Dubai’s Sustainability Pavilion – hosted its one millionth visitor on Saturday (26 February) and celebrated its impact on people’s sustainable lifestyle habits.

The pavilion demonstrates the damage being done to the planet, and ways everyone can make a difference before it is too late. The message is hitting the mark, with 95 per cent of visitors making a pledge towards positive change, with promises ranging from meat-free days, to swapping cars for public transport.

The millionth visitor was Dubai resident Santhosh Fernandes, who was at Expo 2020 Dubai with his wife Sheetal, children Seona, 11, and Seana, six, and friend Tushar Kawli. They were presented with a basket of gifts, including a meal at Terra’s plant-based rooftop restaurant, Mudra.

Santhosh said: “This was the first pavilion we visited, so it is a lovely surprise! It was really interesting to look around Terra and it made us think. We are definitely going to make some changes to our lives, especially when it comes to using plastic.”

All of Saturday’s visitors were given packets of ghaf seeds – the UAE’s national tree, and a symbol of tolerance – and volunteers performed a dance routine to add to the celebratory atmosphere.

World Wildlife Day will be celebrated at Terra on Thursday (3 March) to raise awareness and highlight the UAE and Expo participants success stories.

Meanwhile, this opportunity has come after one and half years of lock down across the world due to the pandemic. The Expo is going to be a grand event. The whole world will have now a reason to visit Dubai. The world is now hailing the vision and courage demonstrated by the leadership of Dubai and the UAE at this special time facing all the challenges and turning the challenges as blessings. About 3 to 5 percent of people visiting Expo 2020 is expected revisiting Dubai or planning to make Dubai their residence post the Expo.

In 1851 the Crystal Palace was the centrepiece of London’s Great Exhibition – the first World Expo. It celebrated the man-made industrial wonders of a rapidly changing world. Architecture, contents and a theme, ‘Industry of All Nations’, were combined to create a big idea of nations meeting nations in shared technological and commercial progress. In more recent years, participants in World Expos, including governments, international organisations and companies, have gathered to find solutions to universal challenges and to promote their achievements, products, ideas, innovations, their national brand, and their nations as destinations for tourism, trade and investment.

World Expos are held under the auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the intergovernmental organisation responsible for overseeing and regulating international exhibitions (‘Expos’) and for fostering their core values of Education, Innovation and Cooperation. Today, four types of Expos are organised under the BIE’s auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.


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