Presidents of UAE, Turkey witness signing of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

The deal aims to achieve growth by eliminating or reducing customs duties on 82 per cent of goods and products

By WAM

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The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, delivers a virtual speech during the UAE-Türkiye Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signing ceremony. - WAM
The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, delivers a virtual speech during the UAE-Türkiye Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signing ceremony. - WAM

Published: Fri 3 Mar 2023, 10:04 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Mar 2023, 10:15 PM

The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, witnessed the signing of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) between both nations during a virtual summit on Friday.‏

Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of the Economy, and ‏Mehmet Mus, the Turkish Minister of Trade, signed the agreement, heralding a new era of bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The pact contributes to stimulating trade, increasing the flow of investment and creating joint opportunities in priority sectors.


The Cepa with Turkey is the fourth of its kind to be concluded by the UAE as part of its global economic agreements programme, following similar agreements with India, Israel, and Indonesia.

The UAE-Turkey Cepa aims to achieve mutual benefits for both countries and stimulate long-term, sustainable, and comprehensive economic growth by eliminating or reducing customs duties on 82 per cent of goods and products, representing more than 93 per cent of non-oil trade.


Additionally, the agreement improves market access to Turkey for exporters from the UAE, including major sectors such as construction, metals and their products, polymers, and other manufactured products.It is expected that the agreement will contribute to increasing non-oil bilateral trade to $40 billion annually within five years, while also creating 25,000 new job opportunities by 2031. In addition, the agreement is expected to increase UAE exports to Türkiye by 21.7 per cent.

Non-oil exports to Turkey amounted to $5.6 billion in 2022, an increase of 109 per cent compared to 2021, while the value of re-export operations from the UAE to the world grew by 87 per cent to reach $2.3 billion in 2022.

At the beginning of the virtual call, Sheikh Mohamed warmly welcomed President Erdogan and expressed his pleasure to be meeting with him again. He also welcomed the opportunity provided by the agreement to strengthen and enhance relations between the two countries, stating: "We are happy to be signing this Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which the UAE considers to be a highly important agreement with a valued and friendly country."

Sheikh Mohamed also expressed his gratitude to the Turkish President for his readiness to support the signing of the partnership, despite the current situation in Türkiye following the recent earthquake. He stated: "I pray to God to protect Türkiye and its people from all harm and to give you help and strength to overcome these circumstances. We are confident in the ability of the Turkish people to prevail and move towards progress and development."

Sheikh Mohamed reiterated the UAE's firm position in standing alongside Türkiye and offering support where needed, remarking that the approach of building bridges of cooperation and solidarity was inherited from the late Sheikh Zayed.

Abdulla Bin Touq, UAE Minister of the Economy (fourth right), Mehmet Muş, Minister of Trade of Türkiye (fifth right), Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade the UAE (sixth right), Saeed Thani Hareb Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to Türkiye (sevnenth from right) and other dignitaries,  after the UAE - Türkiye Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signing ceremony, at the Hilton Abu Dhabi, Yas Island. - WAM
Abdulla Bin Touq, UAE Minister of the Economy (fourth right), Mehmet Muş, Minister of Trade of Türkiye (fifth right), Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade the UAE (sixth right), Saeed Thani Hareb Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to Türkiye (sevnenth from right) and other dignitaries, after the UAE - Türkiye Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signing ceremony, at the Hilton Abu Dhabi, Yas Island. - WAM

He commented that the signing of the Cepa reflects the significant development witnessed in bilateral relations in recent years, as the total non-oil trade between the UAE and Türkiye reached $19 billion in 2022, an increase of 40 per cent compared to 2021 and 112 per cent compared to 2020. This makes Türkiye the fastest-growing among the UAE's top 10 trading partners.

Sheikh Mohamed stated that this agreement "demonstrates the common will to launch a new phase of relations between our two nations in various fields. We hope it will contribute to strengthening the bonds of economic cooperation and advancing the development of both countries towards a bright future."

"Not only does this agreement aim to stimulate trade, investment and economic growth, but it also establishes a genuine development partnership, building common interests and consolidating ever-stronger strategic relations between our two countries," Sheikh Mohamed added. He also said that the Cepa embodies the UAE's approach towards strengthening development partnerships in the region, with the aim of promoting peace and cooperation, and enabling people to realise their ambitions for progress, stability and prosperity.

The UAE President thanked the officials from both countries who successfully concluded the agreement in less than a year, and expressed his hope for mutual prosperity and growth for both nations.

Erdogan said: "In our relations, today we are writing a new chapter together. Our efforts which are empowered from our shared history, culture, and traditional values are not only contributing to our bilateral economic ties but also significantly contributing to the prosperity, welfare and stability of our region as well as the globe."

"There is no doubt that the Cepa signed today, with the strong tools it contains, such as liberalisation of bilateral goods, services and trade, with a special emphasis on SMEs; easing the work of investors; and bringing top notch rules for intellectual property rights, among others, will be a trigger for boosting trade and investments," he added.

At the conclusion of his statement, President Erdogan said, "We will see the fruits of this agreement for our countries and for our region in a short period of time which will be a catalyst for more areas of cooperation for our business people."

The longstanding ties between the two countries are based on the spirit of mutual understanding and respect, and are aimed at enhancing collaboration in various fields including the economic, climate, cultural, and youth-empowerment sectors. UAE-Türkiye relations have been supported by official visits between the leadership of both countries in recent years.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed visited Türkiye in November 2021 and President Erdogan visited the UAE in February 2022.During the first visit, the UAE announced the establishment of a $10 billion investment fund in Türkiye, focusing on the logistics, energy, health, and food sectors.During the second visit, 13 cooperation agreements were signed in several areas of mutual interest. Earlier this year the Turkish President also participated in the 10th edition of the World Government Summit in Dubai, where he delivered a recorded speech reaffirming the depth of the relations between the UAE and Türkiye.



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