Monday 05 December 2022 - 2:01:58 am

UAE, Georgia commence talks on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

DUBAI, 30th December, 2021 (WAM) -- Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Natia Turnava, Georgia’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, have officially launched talks for the establishment of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which aims to build on the deep and evolving trade and investment ties between both nations.

The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade with Georgia in the first 10 months of 2021 exceeded US$165 million, representing a growth of 33 percent compared to the same period in 2020. As a strategic gateway to African and Asian markets, the UAE accounts for more than 60 percent of Georgia’s trade with Arab countries and more than 40 percent of its trade with the Middle East and North Africa. The UAE is also Georgia’s most important source of foreign direct investment from the Arab world, and the sixth largest globally.

The launch of CEPA talks was followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on economic cooperation, whereby both countries agreed to expand cooperation in areas such as transportation and logistics; hospitality and real estate; small and medium-sized enterprises; industry and mining; food security and agriculture; tourism; science; technology; telecommunications and innovation; finance and banking; infrastructure and construction; and environment.

On this occasion, Minister Al Zeyoudi said, "Georgia and the United Arab Emirates enjoy close cultural, diplomatic and economic ties that have evolved and strengthened over the years to become the kind of partnership that we have today. We are already active trading partners and, as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, we must prepare for the future by developing a deeper trade and investment relationship. The launch of talks on the UAE-Georgia CEPA reflects our shared desire to work together to enhance the capacity of the private sector, promote startups and entrepreneurs, improve market access and substantially increase the volume of two-way trade."

"As part of the UAE’s plans to drive sustainable development over the next 50 years and within the framework of the global economic agreements launched by the government of the UAE under the 'Projects of the 50', we look forward to concluding the new trade and investment agreement with our friendly partner Georgia as soon as possible," he added.

For her side, Minister Turnava said, "The bolstering of UAE-Georgian relations has become an increasing priority to both nations as bilateral trade grows, and there is a shared desire and ambition to build on these relations further with a mutually-beneficial comprehensive economic partnership agreement. We want to deepen our existing economic, trade and investment ties to help boost our respective economies and there are huge opportunities for growth in renewable energy, finance, logistics and other key sectors. The UAE is considered a leading centre for trade, energy, business and tourism, and Georgia has wide access to global markets, in addition to its strategic geographical location at the heart of continental trade routes."

The UAE has already launched free trade negotiations with India, Indonesia and Israel in 2021 and is moving forward quickly to expand ties with other key markets.

WAM/Lina ibrahim