UAE Cambodia CEPA-1682580639511
The conclusion of negotiations was confirmed with the signing of a joint statement by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and PAN Sorasak, Cambodia’s Minister of Commerce. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The United Arab Emirates and Cambodia have finalised the terms of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), Ministry of Economy said in a statement on Thursday.

The CEPA builds on growing UAE-Cambodia economic relations that, in 2022, resulted in non-oil trade exceeding $401 million, which represents a growth of 31 per cent compared to 2021 – and 146 per cent more on the pre-Covid year of 2019. In terms of investments, bilateral FDI had reached $3.8 million by the end of 2020.

This deal will deliver new opportunities for Cambodia’s key exports, which include grains, fruits, meats, processed foods, apparel, footwear and leather goods. The UAE will benefit from new export opportunities in machinery, oils and lubricants, and cars and automotive parts, as well as investment opportunities in logistics and infrastructure, travel and tourism projects and renewable energy.

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“Cambodia’s food production and agricultural sectors, which are a critical part of their economy, will also help us achieve our food security ambitions, said Al Zeyoudi. “The negotiations took less than six months to complete, which is a clear indication of our shared desire to boost bilateral relations and create new, mutually beneficial opportunities.”

“Since the UAE-Cambodia CEPA initiation, we do believe that this agreement will definitely be another great impetus for our shared growth and prosperity through fostering supply chains, enhancing trade flow, and promoting bilateral investment between Cambodia and UAE,” said Sorasak. “Indeed, the agreement will serve as the catalyst for greater connectivity between ASEAN and the Arab World, which are amongst the most economically dynamic regions in the world.”

The UAE’s new foreign trade agenda is a core component of the nation’s growth strategy that seeks to double the size of the economy from $381 billion to $762 billion by 2030. The country has now signed CEPAs with India, Israel, Indonesia and Turkiye, and is set to conclude negotiations with other strategically important nations in the coming weeks.