UAE, Australia commence CEPA talks in order to boost trade

Non-oil trade between the two nations reached $4.5 billion in 2022, an increase of 28% compared to 2021

by

Waheed Abbas

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Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong. Photo: AFP
Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong. Photo: AFP

Published: Mon 15 Jan 2024, 12:36 PM

Last updated: Mon 15 Jan 2024, 7:35 PM

The UAE and Australia have commenced the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) talks as the UAE looks to increase trade agreements with other countries to boost trade.

Australian foreign minister Penny Wong will visit Jordan, Israel, Palestine and the UAE this week to discuss economic and geopolitical issues this region faces.

“My visit to the UAE will reaffirm our close friendship and welcome the commencement of negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. The UAE is an important partner that plays a key role in regional security,” Wong said as she left for the Middle East region’s visit on Monday.

The UAE has signed CEPA with several countries and trading partners such as India, Indonesia and Turkey to double non-oil foreign trade to Dh4 trillion by 2031. In the first half of last year, UAE’s trade surpassed the $337 billion mark, growing by 14.4 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.

Non-oil trade between the UAE and Australia reached $4.5 billion in 2022, an increase of 28 per cent compared to 2021 and almost double the total recorded in 2020. In 2022, the UAE was Australia’s leading trade partner in the Middle East and its 19th-largest export destination globally.

More than 300 businesses operate in the UAE in key areas, including building, construction, financial services, agricultural supplies and training services. The CEPA between the UAE and Australia would also help advance two-way investment into high-growth sectors such as real estate, healthcare, technology and logistics.

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