UAE eyes more trade pacts to secure billions in investments

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The United Arab Emirates is working to close more trade deals as it seeks to deepen its ties with fast-growing economies and draw billions of dollars in foreign investment.

“We are about to finish with both Indonesia and Israel and we hope that we are going to conclude with Colombia by the end of next month as well, Thani Al Zeyoudi, minister of state for foreign trade, told Bloomberg TV on Monday.

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The UAE announced last year plans to lure $150 billion in foreign investment from global partners to reposition itself as a global hub for business and finance. The Gulf nation, which has been facing growing regional competition from neighbour Saudi Arabia, said it would work on economic agreements with countries showing high growth potential.

On Friday, it signed a deal with India to cut duties on almost 90 percent of goods traded between the two countries, a step expected to enhance trade relationships and double non-oil trade to at least $100 billion over five years. Earlier this month, it said it plans to invest up to $14 billion in Britain.

The deal with India is “going to take the relationship to a different level when it comes to the economy and investments, he said. “The winning aspect from our side is going to have huge market access to a huge volume of our national commodities. We’re talking about petrochemicals, steel, aluminum and even for the SME exporters to get access to the Indian market.

The trade pacts are expected to have a “huge impact on the volume of foreign direct investment and bring in business from “all over the world, he said.

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