The UAE and Turkey have officially launched talks on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which is expected to double bilateral trade to Dh100 billion in coming years, said UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.
Al Zeyoudi, who is heading a business delegation to Turkey, discussed different initiatives with Turkish Minister of Trade Mohamed Mosh to foster business and investment partnerships between the business communities of the two countries during a round table held in Istanbul on Wednesday.
The two ministers also discussed ways to utilise the qualitative leaps recently achieved by bilateral and economic relations, and arrangements for finalising the CEPA between the two countries.
New economic module
Al Zeyoudi said the volume of non-oil trade between the UAE and Turkey surged 54 per cent to Dh50.4 billion last year after witnessing a year-on-year increase of 86 per cent in 2020.
“Ankara accounts for more than three per cent of the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade volume. In addition, UAE investments in Turkey rose to over Dh18.3 billion by the end of 2020, while Turkish investments in the UAE amounted to Dh1.1 billion by the end of 2019,” he said.
Al Zeyoudi highlighted the elements of the new economic module of the UAE based on flexibility, proactiveness, and openness to international markets.
He further shed light on ‘Projects of the 50’ and the amendments adopted by the country to promote the competitiveness of its legislative economic system as well as the leading technological infrastructure and attractive incentives in investments and attracting talents.
Positive development witnessed
Al Zeyoudi asserted that the UAe and Turkey have strong historical relations and the two sides are looking forward to strengthening cooperation in all areas. This, he said, will serve the development agenda and the business communities of both the two countries to move towards more sustainable and resilient economies and achieve progress for the peoples.
“By cutting tariffs, promoting free movement of goods, facilitating capital flows and reducing trade barriers, we will make it easier than ever to do business. It will also underpin a new era of cooperation,” the minister tweeted on Tuesday.
The UAE-Turkey relations have witnessed positive development and cooperation in all the areas of mutual interest, following the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to Turkey by the end of 2021; and President Recep Erdogan’s visit to the UAE in February 2022, which resulted in the signing of around 72 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in various fields.
“We look forward to maximising the cooperation between the two countries during this historic phase and stimulating it towards more momentous levels in several strategic sectors in the coming days,” Al Zeyoudi said.
“We have recently announced the launch of formal discussions to reach a CEPA with Turkey as part of the Global Economic Agreements Programme within the UAE’s ‘Projects of the 50’. Today, we continue our work with our partners in the Turkish government and the private sector in Turkey to finalise the arrangements of this agreement and formally sign it, paving the way for a new shift in both countries’ relations in the areas of trade, investment, talent exchange, and knowledge sharing,” he said.
New business prospects explored
Al Zeyoudi also called upon the business community in Turkey to benefit from the growing economic collaboration between the two countries and explore promising growth prospects in the UAE market, which is rich with developmental and prosperity incentives.
“The business community should benefit from the strategic location of the UAE as an active logistic window for Turkish products to reach the markets in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, as well as the technologically developed infrastructure. Not to mention empowering companies to build regional and international networks for its brands, hence ensuring more profits, development, and growth,” he added.
Moreover, both sides explored new prospects to encourage businessmen and companies to increase and diversify trade, as well as promote the influx of mutual investments and businesses.
They further emphasised on promoting knowledge and talents exchange between the two countries in priority sectors during the upcoming stage - including renewable energy, financial and bank sector, entrepreneurship and SMEs, advanced technology and innovative industries, logistic support (such as transportation, freight, and civil flights), agricultural sector, food security, healthcare, and tourism.
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