UAE, Ukraine announce intent to negotiate CEPA to boost trade

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Dr Al Zeyoudi said that the UAE’s first CEPA with a European nation demonstrates the breadth of its new foreign trade agenda.

Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Yulia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister of Economy of Ukraine, on Monday signed a joint statement announcing their intention to initiate negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The signing affirms the commitment of both countries to strengthen bilateral economic ties and build on the strong trade and investment flows between the UAE and Ukraine. In 2021, non-oil trade between the UAE and Ukraine reached $904.4 million, a 28.4% increase over the same period in 2020 and 12.2% more than 2019. UAE investment in Ukraine reached nearly $243.3 million in 2021, with Ukrainian investment flows into the UAE totalling $84 million in 2020.

The announcement of CEPA negotiations follows the more than $3 billion in trade and investment pledges made during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to the UAE in February 2021. It also represents another key component in the UAE’s efforts to help re-invigorate the national economy of Ukraine, which is one of the Middle East’s most important sources of grains such as barley and wheat.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said that the UAE’s first CEPA with a European nation demonstrates the breadth of its new foreign trade agenda and underlines Ukraine’s long-term significance to the UAE as a trade and investment partner.

“A CEPA with Ukraine offers a raft of new opportunities for our exporters, investors, and manufacturers while also opening up access to new markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for Ukraine’s agricultural and industrial output. We are committed to negotiating a mutually beneficial deal that can not only help drive Ukraine’s economic recovery but also foster long-term growth and opportunity,” Al Zeyoudi stated.

Yulia Svyrydenko added: “Concluding CEPA between Ukraine and the UAE will unlock the full potential of our cooperation in trade and investment, helping our business communities to grow and take advantage of the new opportunities. The UAE has earned a well-deserved reputation as a prominent international trade and logistics hub. At the same time, Ukraine is known for its role as a global food security guarantor and a growing IT powerhouse. That makes our economies complementary, and we look forward to working together on promoting trade, the digital economy, as well as facilitating our investment cooperation.”

The UAE’s CEPA negotiations with Ukraine will commence in the coming weeks and follow the conclusion of CEPAs with India, Indonesia, and Israel. CEPA negotiations with Turkiye, Georgia, and Cambodia are ongoing. The UAE’s CEPA agenda is part of its national strategy to help the nation double the size of its economy from Dhs1.4 trillion to Dhs3 trillion by 2030.

The UAE has signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with various countries in the recent past like India and Israel .

It was revealed recently that the UAE-Israel CEPA is expected to increase bilateral trade to over $10 billion and add $1.9 billion to the UAE’s GDP within five years. The agreement looks to lower or eliminate tariffs on more than 96 per cent of commodities that amount to 99 percent of the overall value of trade, enhancing market access for exporters, attracting new investment, and creating opportunities in key industries.

DMCC – the world’s flagship free-zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise – has hosted its first ever physical Made For Trade Live roadshow event in Tel Aviv, Israel, as it targets attracting more Israeli companies to Dubai following the UAE-Israel Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement signed earlier this year.

The event saw over 250 Israeli business leaders and entrepreneurs briefed on the ease of doing business in Dubai and how the emirate acts as a gateway to some of the world’s fastest growing markets.

Attending the event was  Mohamed Al Khaja, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Israel, who said: “The UAE and Israel are on a journey of growth together – from both a cultural and economic perspective. Events such as this are key to further deepening our relationship and unlocking the full potential of our partnership, enabling our two countries to thrive for generations to come.”

During his opening speech, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said: “I am thrilled to be back in Israel after celebrating the two-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords with the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The UAE is at the forefront of driving global trade through our range of comprehensive economic partnership agreements with some of the most important markets across the globe. As a result of the UAE-Israel CEPA, there is no better time for Israeli businesses to set up and expand their operations in Dubai.”

Separately, Emirati ministers and officials have agreed on the importance of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed between the UAE and Indonesia, stressing it will help the two nations usher in a new era of strategic cooperation.

the CEPA with Indonesia is the third of its kind to be signed by the UAE since the year started, following the agreements signed with India and Israel in February and May, respectively.

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