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UAE and Chile conclude CEPA negotiations to boost trade ties

Gulf Today | 25 April 2024

UAE and Chile conclude CEPA negotiations to boost trade ties

The United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Chile have successfully concluded negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two friendly countries.

Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Alberto van Klaveren, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, signed a joint statement announcing the successful conclusion of negotiations and reaching out the CEPA final provisions between the two sides.

This agreement marks a significant milestone within the UAE’s CEPA programme, which aims to raise the value of the country’s non-oil foreign trade to Dhs4 trillion by 2031.

The non-oil trade between the UAE and Chile amounted to $305.1 million in 2023, representing a remarkable growth of 23.6 per cent since 2019.

Dr Al Zeyoudi welcomed the successful conclusion of the talks, stressing that the agreement will open up access for UAE companies and exporters to the fast-growing economies of Chile and Latin America.

He commented, “Chile is an ideal partner within the CEPA programme being implemented by the UAE. This partnership will foster sustainable and mutually beneficial growth in trade of goods and services, investment, and economic cooperation.

He added, “With the agreement’s signing, the private sectors in both countries will benefit from vital new trade links between South America and the Middle East. These two regions represent dynamic and growing markets with a population of over 800 million.” For his part, Alberto van Klaveren remarked, “We view the conclusion of CEPA negotiations as a remarkable achievement within our distinguished relationship with the UAE, sharing a vision for open and rules-based trade.

“The agreement will add further momentum into our bilateral trade, while also generating boundless new opportunities for a more prosperous, modern, and dynamic economic relationship between Chile and the UAE,” he further noted.

Dr Al Zeyoudi’s visit to Central and South America, accompanied by a high-level delegation, also saw the signing of CEPA agreements with both Colombia and Costa Rica.

A day earlier, Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Sonsoles Garcia, Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries of Ecuador, signed a joint statement in Quito announcing the intention to begin negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the UAE and Ecuador, as part of the UAE delegation’s visit to several Latin American countries.

This announcement comes after the UAE signed similar agreements with Costa Rica and Colombia, the first two countries in Latin America to sign last week. The move underscores the UAE’s strategic intent to deepen its commercial and investment presence across Latin America, thereby fostering sustainable economic growth.

The partnership aims to substantially enhance non-oil bilateral trade while fostering increased investment flows between the two nations.

By eliminating trade barriers and facilitating the exchange of a wide array of goods and services, this partnership opens new economic opportunities for both countries regarding exports and imports. Additionally, it allows Ecuadorian firms to leverage the UAE’s economic prowess and geographical advantage and provides Emirati businesses and investors with a robust entry point into Latin American markets, beginning with Ecuador.

In 2023, non-oil bilateral trade between the UAE and Ecuador surged to $675 million, marking a remarkable 76% increase compared to 2022 and more than tripling the figures recorded in 2021. Furthermore, Dubai Ports World’s substantial investment in Ecuador’s Port of Posorja, valued at $1.2 billion, is a testament to the burgeoning economic ties between the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Al Zeyoudi underscored that the commencement of negotiations with Ecuador aligns with the UAE’s ongoing efforts to cement its status as a global trade, investment, and logistical hub. These efforts aim to expand trade relations with influential global partners like Ecuador, a key trading and investment ally, with shared objectives of driving sustainable economic growth in both nations.

He emphasised the vast opportunities for establishing deeper economic integration between the UAE and Ecuador, particularly in agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, technology, renewable energy, and others of mutual interest.

In turn, Minister Garcia emphasised the enduring and evolving trade ties between Ecuador and the UAE, driven by mutual interests in advancing cooperation across various economic domains.

She stressed that the initiation of CEPA negotiations with the UAE represents a pivotal step in expanding economic ties, with active participation from both countries’ business communities, private sectors, and investors.

Rodrigo Chaves Robles, President of Costa Rica, received Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, in the Costa Rican capital, San José, during a visit by a high-level delegation from the UAE.

During the meeting, Al Zeyoudi conveyed the regards of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, and their wishes for further prosperity, progress and well-being to the leadership and people of Costa Rica.

 source: Gulf Today