The full value of CEPA will cover more than just trade, and extend to investments, the in- and outflow of technology transfers, and boost the startup space. (File photo of UAE signing CEPA with Israel) Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Ministry of Economy has announced that the UAE would be signing comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPA) with several countries soon. The nation will also sign trade preference agreements with the member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation early next year 2023.

The ministry said that the new partnership agreements aims to enhance the role of international trade to double the size of the national economy by 2030.

Jumaa Muhammad Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for International Trade Affairs said that the countries that are currently negotiating to conclude CEPA are: Indonesia, Colombia and Turkey, in addition to a number of countries with which the initial terms of the agreement are being agreed upon.

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UAE is signing CEPA agreements with the aim of removing or reducing customs duties bilaterally with carefully selected markets of strategic importance regionally and globally.

UAE-India CEPA trade
According to UAE and Indian business chiefs, the CEPA alliance, which was signed in February, also creates opportunities for the widening of investment flows across sectors – and not just those dominated by existing trade ties.

The framework of the deal will also be pursued by the UAE in similar trade agreements with Israel and Turkey. The CEPA with Israel is reportedly in its advanced stages, while that with Turkey has just been initiated. For India too, there will be upcoming trade alliances, with that with the UK to be enacted within months.

According to a report reviewed by the state news agency, WAM, trade is a main focus in the development plans of the UAE for the next fifty years. The country is striving to double the size of the national economy from Dh1.4 trillion currently to Dh3 trillion by 2030 through more trade openness with the world, making it one of the major global gateway to the flow of trade.

Commercial preference

Trade Preferential System among the Member States of the OIC (TPS-OIC) is one of the most important projects of the COMCEC to foster intra-OIC trade. This system is based on three agreements, namely:

  • The Framework Agreement
  • The Protocol on Preferential Tariff Scheme (PRETAS)
  • The Rules of Origin

Al Saleh pointed out that the trade preference system is the selection of a group of targeted goods, according to which the state obtains the advantage of reducing customs tariffs while exporting its national products to the markets of those countries.

He explained that the most important feature of this new system is to grant the UAE customs discounts on a wide and selected range of goods.