On Friday, the UAE and Turkey signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) to enhance trade between the two nations, which will create more jobs in both markets. The UAE is pursuing similar trade agreements with other nations, such as India, Indonesia, and Israel, as the country aims to strengthen its economic and trade relationships with strategic partners around the world. The CEPA is expected to be implemented from the middle of this year, and will generate 25,000 highly skilled jobs in the UAE and 100,000 jobs in Turkey over the next decade, according to Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade. Bilateral non-oil trade is expected to rise to over $40 billion in the next five years, compared to the current $18.9 billion.
The primary focus of the agreement is on services, including AgriTech, construction, ICT, telecommunications, logistics, and pharmaceuticals. Additionally, there will be a good market for many of the UAE’s products such as aluminum and petrochemicals. The UAE is currently working towards signing 26 comprehensive economic partnership agreements, with the aim of attracting more investment and diversifying its economy. In September 2021, the country announced its plans to double the size of its economy to Dh3 trillion ($816.88 billion) by 2030, from Dh1.4 trillion, and is looking to eliminate or reduce tariffs, remove unnecessary trade barriers, and establish investment and trade joint ventures with its partners.
Dr Al Zeyoudi said, “It promises to write a new chapter in the UAE-Turkey bilateral relations, transforming long-standing friendship into a dynamic partnership for growth.” The latest agreement comes as the UAE and Turkey focus on expanding their relationship. In February last year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made his first official visit to the UAE in almost a decade. During that time, the two nations signed 13 agreements and protocols in various fields, including defence, health and medical sciences, sea and land transport, advanced industries and technology, climate action, and culture. Furthermore, the central banks of both countries also signed a currency swap agreement.
The UAE is committed to building stronger relationships with countries worldwide by developing closer economic and trade ties with key partners, and it is actively seeking new partnerships. Dr Al Zeyoudi stated that the UAE will soon be signing CEPAs with Georgia and Cambodia in the next three to four weeks, and that the country is making good progress with Kenyans.