UAE and Türkiye set to boost comprehensive bilateral ties

Saeed Thani Hareb Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Türkiye, says the economy stands as a cornerstone of expanding collaboration between the two countries

By Muzaffar Rizvi

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Saeed Thani Hareb Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Türkiye, said both the UAE and Türkiye are aiming to further enhance trade relations, as their relationship is strengthened and startups projects are established.
Saeed Thani Hareb Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Türkiye, said both the UAE and Türkiye are aiming to further enhance trade relations, as their relationship is strengthened and startups projects are established.

Published: Mon 30 Oct 2023, 12:08 PM

Saeed Thani Hareb Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Türkiye, has said the tourism sector for Emiratis in Türkiye is promising, driven by a combination of factors that deepen and solidify this potential.

“Türkiye's geographical location offers convenient accessibility, making it an easily reachable and attractive destination for travel and investment and the country also offers a rich tapestry of tourist attractions, ranging from historical sites to natural beauty, ensuring a diverse and exciting experience for Emirati tourists,” Al Dhaheri told Khaleej Times during an interview.


In addition, the ambassador said both the UAE and Türkiye share a common vision for the future, characterized by a desire to enhance cooperation in various areas, including the economy, trade, culture, education, and technology.

“This shared vision opens up avenues for enhanced collaboration and exchange between the two nations. Moreover, Türkiye's robust infrastructure supports investments and streamlines trade and investment operations, making it an appealing destination for both companies and businesses.


Given these compelling factors and the shared vision for future collaboration, ties between the UAE and Türkiye are set to deepen, ultimately enriching the experiences and opportunities for Emirati tourists and investors in Türkiye,” Al Dhaheri said.

Excerpts of the interview:

What is the latest updates on UAE-Türkiye bilateral trade and investment? In this context, how do you analyse the impact of CEPA on trade and investment? Pls share some details with the latest data.

The UAE and Türkiye have significantly strengthened their bilateral relations and economic collaboration. In March 2023, the two nations signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the goal of reinforcing trade to $40 billion in the next five years, fostering growth, opportunity, and stability. The CEPA represents a new chapter in the relationship between our two countries and aims to evolve ties into a dynamic partnership for growth.

The UAE-Türkiye CEPA will eliminate or reduce tariffs on 82 per cent of product lines between the two countries, accounting for more than 93 per cent of the value of bilateral non-oil trade, with a focus on strategic sectors such as agricultural technology, food security, and clean energy. It is forecast that the CEPA will contribute to doubling non-oil bilateral trade from its current value to $40 billion annually within five years and is projected to create 25,000 new jobs in both countries by 2031.

It is forecast that the CEPA will contribute to doubling non-oil bilateral trade from its current value to $40 billion annually within five years and is projected to create 25,000 new jobs in both countries by 2031.
It is forecast that the CEPA will contribute to doubling non-oil bilateral trade from its current value to $40 billion annually within five years and is projected to create 25,000 new jobs in both countries by 2031.

During President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Abu Dhabi earlier this year, agreements and memorandums of understanding totaling over $50 billion were signed across various sectors such as energy, defence, infrastructure, technology, finance, and space. These agreements, witnessed by both leaders — The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, marked a substantial advancement in our bilateral relationship. Additionally, a ‘high-level strategic council’ headed by the presidents of both countries was announced.

What new initiatives have you taken to promote bilateral ties and investment between the two countries?

The strong and evolving relationship between the UAE and Türkiye reflects a commitment to fostering comprehensive bilateral ties. Extensive efforts have been made to enhance the economic partnership between our nations, leading to an increase in the number of Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed. The growing frequency of high-level visits also underscores our shared determination to enhance relations across various domains.

Exploring potential areas for cooperation has been a priority, with a focus on green investment opportunities in Türkiye, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transportation.

Moreover, to further deepen our relations, we have promoted cultural and educational exchanges. For example, in September 2023, the UAE and Türkiye signed a memorandum of cooperation aimed at facilitating the exchange of knowledge, experiences and expertise in various scientific and educational fields.

Building channels of communication between the UAE and Türkiye aligns with the UAE's commitment to working with countries to address global challenges and serve the interests of the region's people. In the coming decades, the UAE anticipates a growing need for increased communication, integration, and cooperation across various fields, including politics, economics, technology, health and food security.

A Turkish flag is pictured on a boat with the Ortakoy Mosque in the background in Istanbul. the UAE is keen to explore cooperation with Türkiye in the realms of education, tourism, and culture.
A Turkish flag is pictured on a boat with the Ortakoy Mosque in the background in Istanbul. the UAE is keen to explore cooperation with Türkiye in the realms of education, tourism, and culture.

Indeed, the UAE maintains deep and distinguished relations with countries worldwide, grounded in principles of openness, partnership, bridge-building, and collaboration to promote international peace and security, and the country underscores the importance of communication and dialogue as fundamental to strengthening constructive relations. In today's dynamic and ever-changing landscape, the UAE believes in the significance of dialogue, cooperation, and bridge-building to find innovative and enduring solutions to current challenges, reflecting a path established since its founding and continuously followed under the leadership of the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Please share details about the UAE's support in terms of humanitarian and development projects in Türkiye.

The UAE has been a steadfast partner of Türkiye, with an enduring partnership that reflects the UAE's deeply rooted principles. Notable projects in this collaborative journey stretch back to 1984, when the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan initiated several pivotal endeavours during his visit to Türkiye. These included the establishment of an elderly care center, a multifaceted commercial and cultural complex, and a relief fund for children in need.

Furthermore, the UAE has consistently stood by its partners during moments of crisis, notably following the devastating earthquake of 1999. In 2021, UAE leadership provided Dh36.7 million to support the rehabilitation of areas in Türkiye affected by forest fires and floods. In February 2023, the UAE's unwavering humanitarian commitment was evident through active involvement in relief operations in Türkiye, providing vital support to those affected by an earthquake. This included delivering thousands of tonnes of aid, constructing hospitals, and deploying rescue teams, further strengthening the profound bonds of friendship between the two nations.

The UAE is keen to explore emerging key sectors that will promote cooperation and partnership between the two countries. Could you please share some details?

Both the UAE and Türkiye are aiming to further enhance trade relations, as their relationship is strengthened and startups projects are established. These collaborations will cover various sectors, including renewable energy and clean technology, advanced technology and innovation, logistics and transportation, healthcare and life sciences, and food security and agricultural technology.

For renewable energy, both the UAE and Türkiye share a commitment to diversifying their energy sources and reducing carbon emissions.
For renewable energy, both the UAE and Türkiye share a commitment to diversifying their energy sources and reducing carbon emissions.

For renewable energy, both the UAE and Türkiye share a commitment to diversifying their energy sources and reducing carbon emissions. Collaborative projects in solar energy, wind energy, hydroelectric power, green hydrogen, and carbon capture and utilization offer promising opportunities. For advanced technology and innovation, the UAE has a particular focus on the development and deployment of cutting-edge technologies, with collaboration in areas such as Artificial Intelligence holding significant potential for both nations.

In the logistics and transportation field, the UAE serves as a pivotal global logistics hub, backed by world-class infrastructure and collaborative initiatives will enhance connectivity and efficiency within this sector. Furthermore, the UAE has made substantial investments in healthcare, emphasizing the development of world-class medical facilities and the attraction of top-tier healthcare providers. Joint projects in this area encompass medical research, clinical trials, and advancements in new drugs and treatments. Additionally, the UAE is dedicated to bolstering its food security. Collaboration initiatives aim to enhance agricultural productivity, reduce food wastage, and innovate technologies for food production and processing.

In addition to these sectors, the UAE is keen to explore cooperation with Türkiye in the realms of education, tourism, and culture. A recent MoU signed between the UAE's Ministry of Education and Türkiye's Higher Education Council underscores the commitment to enhance communication and foster collaborative relationships among higher education institutions in both countries. This diversified collaboration signifies an exciting phase of growth and innovation in the UAE-Türkiye partnership.

The UAE recently signed deals worth more than $50 billion with Türkiye and it included energy and natural resources development, space and defense cooperation. How do you see the bilateral trade and investment relations in the next 5 to 10 years in response to the agreements?

The UAE and Türkiye have entered into a series of bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding designed to bolster cooperation across various domains. Notably, the economy stands as a cornerstone of their expanding collaboration.

Relations with Türkiye are part of the UAE's strategy to strengthen its partnerships, expand its relations and reinforce bridges of cooperation in all fields.

The recently signed agreements encompass a wide spectrum of sectors, including renewable energy, green hydrogen, ammonia, hydroelectric power stations, transportation projects, battery storage, and cooperation in nuclear energy. These agreements will have a substantial influence on the economic landscapes of both nations over the next five to ten years.

In the energy sphere, the agreements are set to foster intensified collaboration in critical areas such as oil and gas exploration and production, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. This enhanced cooperation is expected to stimulate increased investments within the energy sector of both countries, leading to heightened trade in energy products and services. Within the realm of natural resources, these agreements are geared towards augmenting cooperation in domains such as mining, mineral processing, and metal trading. This cooperative effort is likely to drive greater investments in the natural resources sector of both nations, with a boost in the trade of natural resource products and services.

In the aerospace sector, the agreements between the UAE and Türkiye will enhance cooperation in areas such as satellite development, space exploration, and space-related services.
In the aerospace sector, the agreements between the UAE and Türkiye will enhance cooperation in areas such as satellite development, space exploration, and space-related services.

Meanwhile, in the aerospace sector, the agreements will enhance cooperation in areas such as satellite development, space exploration, and space-related services. This, in turn, is poised to foster augmented investments within the aerospace sector of both countries, while encouraging a greater collaboration in space-related projects.

Furthermore, in the defence sector, the agreements are anticipated to promote increased cooperation in areas such as military training, joint exercises, and defense procurement. This closer collaboration is expected to result in improved interoperability between the armed forces of both countries and increased trade in defense-related products and services.

These agreements reflect the UAE’s endeavours to work within its regional orientation to build tripartite and quadripartite economic partnerships and aspires to include Türkiye in these partnerships, given the significant capabilities and capacities of the two countries. Building bridges of communication between the UAE and Türkiye is also a reflection of the UAE’s keenness to work with countries in addressing global challenges to serve the interests of the region’s peoples.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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