New partnerships will help expand the UAE’s network of trade and investment partners Image Credit: Supplied

Forging new trade partnerships is a key element of the UAE’s ‘Projects of the 50’, the nation’s multifaceted initiatives aimed at accelerating economic growth and sustaining human development, as we gear up to mark the nation’s 50th anniversary.

New partnerships, particularly the recently announced plans to sign trade deals with eight countries that represent key global markets, will help expand the UAE’s network of trade and investment partners, boost the flow and growth of trade with the world, and consolidate the country’s position as a regional and global trade hub.

Thus, as part of the ‘Projects of the 50’, the Higher Committee for Economic Agreements has been approved by the government. This body will oversee the expansion of new markets, study and approve new investment and trade opportunities to help sustain the economic growth.

Forge new partnerships

The plan to forge new partnerships with the eight countries are central in this regard. They aim to increase our current trade volume of Dh275 billion by at least Dh40 billion annually. They will also be pivotal to the UAE’s plan to double the size of the national economy from Dh1.4 trillion to Dh3 trillion over the next 10 years.

Building on the historical relations with these countries, the new agreements will help the UAE get wider accessibility to those key markets, especially in the vital ‘new economy’ segments such as technology, health and education and food security.

They are just the beginning of many such partnerships and agreements that will be signed in this decade, in line with the country’s vision to diversify the economy, grow the new sectors, boost the GDP and sustain its position as a leader in business innovation in this region.

The new partnerships are also in line with the UAE’s regional and international commitments to the principle of free trade. They don’t contradict with the country’s membership in any regional or international organisation.

The UAE is already party to several multilateral and bilateral trade agreements, mainly with brotherly countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (the GCC), which led to strong economic ties with the five states — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.

The six countries have signed a common market and a customs union agreements within the boundaries of the GCC. The UAE also enjoy preferable trade access with several Arab states as part of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area Agreement (GAFTA), signed under the auspices of the Arab League, in addition to strong economic ties with most leading economic powers in the world.

The UAE is committed to enhance its economic and trade relations with its traditional partners, especially in the GCC. This is a fundamental part of the nation’s guiding principle in foreign and economic policies.

Signing new agreement with new partners will help expand regional countries gain through the UAE’s globally recognised trade gateway new access to key global markets.