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Malaysia, UAE to launch negotiations on comprehensive trade pact

The Star | 23 May 2023

Malaysia, UAE to launch negotiations on comprehensive trade pact

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to launch negotiations to establish a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) said such an agreement will give new momentum for both countries to enhance their existing partnership through more strategic collaborations to boost and drive new bilateral economic and trade opportunities.

"The Malaysia-UAE CEPA will be a comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement, covering trade in goods and services, investments, economic cooperation, and other emerging areas of mutual interest to be agreed upon,” it said in a statement today.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the partnership will set the stage for a comprehensive and mutually beneficial economic framework that will forge stronger strategic collaborations, foster innovation, spur economic growth, and create job opportunities for both nations.

"The UAE consistently holds its position as a crucial and strategic trading partner for Malaysia in the Middle East, while Malaysia serves as an ideal gateway for the UAE to venture into the Asia-Pacific market.

"Building upon our shared aspirations, I am confident that the Malaysia-UAE CEPA will bring immense benefits to businesses, entrepreneurs and citizens of both countries, propelling our special and close partnership to new heights,” he said in the statement.

Tengku Zafrul and UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani bin Ahmad Al Zeyoudi expressed their readiness to launch the CEPA negotiations through a joint ministerial statement.

Miti said that as Malaysia’s second-largest trading partner, second-largest export destination and second-largest source of import among the West Asian countries in 2022, the UAE could become the ideal gateway for Malaysia to penetrate the Middle Eastern markets and will provide opportunities for further business-to-business linkages within the region.

The UAE was also Malaysia’s 17th largest trading partner in 2022, with total trade valued at RM38.73 billion (US$8.79 billion).

Miti said moving forward, both ministers and their respective ministries will take the necessary steps to initiate negotiations on the Malaysia-UAE CEPA and for it to be concluded in an agreed timeline, paving the way for enhancing bilateral trade and investment ties between the two countries.

 source: The Star