Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Alfredo E. Pascual, Secretary of Trade and Industry of the Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines, finalized the scope of negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries, ushering in a new era of trade and investment cooperation between the two nations.
A ceremony in Dubai marked the launch of preliminary talks to establish a CEPA between the two countries, where a joint declaration was signed between Al Zeyoudi and Pascual. The announcement is the latest milestone in the UAE’s CEPA programme, which aims to diversify and expand the country’s non-oil foreign trade relations.
The CEPA between the UAE and the Philippines will strengthen existing bilateral ties, which in the first half of 2023 saw non-oil trade increase to 500 million US dollars, a growth of 19.4 percent compared to the same period 2022. Total non-oil trade between the two developing countries in 2022 reached $1.9 billion, double that of the last two years.
The United Arab Emirates is the Philippines’ second largest trading partner in the Middle East and Africa, accounting for approximately 30 percent of the Philippines’ total trade with the region.
At the end of 2020, Philippine FDI in the UAE reached $31.1 million, while the UAE’s total direct investment in the Philippines reached $11 million in 2021. Beyond lower tariffs and Reducing barriers to trade, the CEPA between the UAE and the Philippines is expected to boost capital flows further by opening avenues for new investments and joint ventures. It will also seek to create a platform for collaboration between SMEs.
Commenting on the start of negotiations, Al Zeyoudi saying,
“The Philippines is a key strategic partner for the United Arab Emirates and a high-growth economy at the heart of a fast-growing region. The launch of the CEPA preliminary negotiations reflects our shared desire for sustainable economic growth, a vision we are agree it can become a reality by strengthening our economic ties.
“CEPA will create new opportunities for our respective business communities, boosting investment and trade exchanges, accelerating the flow of goods and creating new investments and joint projects in priority sectors. I look forward to working with Pascal and his team to forge an agreement that offers real benefits for both parties.
Paschalin turn, he said,
“I am deeply honored to usher in greater and closer economic cooperation between our countries on this very special day when, 52 years ago, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan united the Emirates. With strong people-to-people relations to people. “Economic ties and complementarities at its core, we are optimistic that CEPA will result in mutual prosperity and sustainable development for the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates.”
The progress made towards a CEPA between the UAE and the Philippines follows the official state visit of senior representatives of the UAE government to Manila in September, where the delegation, led by Al Zeyoudi and Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh , Minister of State, sought to deepen economic ties and accelerate private ties. -Sector collaboration in sectors of mutual interest.
Talks aimed at reaching an agreement between the UAE and the Philippines build on the UAE’s growing list of CEPA partners, which today includes agreements with seven countries, spanning the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Southern Europe. This, which covers almost a quarter of the world’s population. .
News source: Emirates News Agency