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Türkiye, UAE sign free trade deal as ties improve

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Hurriyet Daily News | 4 March 2023

Türkiye, UAE sign free trade deal as ties improve

The oil-rich United Arab Emirates and Türkiye signed a free trade agreement on March 3, the Gulf country’s president said, the latest step in improving ties long strained by regional disputes.

"The signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with my friend @RTErdogan strengthens the partnership between the UAE & Türkiye," Emirati President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said on Twitter.

The pact "builds on our longstanding ties to deliver further growth, opportunity & stability for our countries & our people," he said.

Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Muş attended the signing in Abu Dhabi during a video summit between Sheikh Mohammed and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The pact aims to eliminate or reduce customs duties on 82 percent of goods and products, accounting for more than 93 percent of non-oil trade, the official WAM news agency reported.

Non-oil exchanges between the two countries reached $19 billion last year, up 40 percent on the previous year and 112 percent from 2020, WAM said.

"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," the news agency added.

Türkiye and the UAE have backed opposing sides in regional conflicts and have sparred over issues including gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

Early last year, Erdoğan made his first visit to the UAE in nearly a decade and called on business leaders to invest in his country.

The Turkish leader’s UAE trip followed Sheikh Mohammed’s rare visit to Ankara in November 2021. The UAE then announced a $10 billion fund for investments in Türkiye.

The Emirates sees Türkiye as a route to new markets.

 source: Hurriyet Daily News