UAE to start negotiations with Malaysia on trade agreement

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The UAE will launch negotiations to establish a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Malaysia, the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) news agency reported on Tuesday.

Talks between the two countries will begin following the signing of a joint statement between the UAE Minister of Foreign Trade Dr. Thani al-Zeyoudi, and the Malaysian Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Zafrul Aziz.

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Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed signed the agreement during an official visit to the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur, WAM reported.

Trade, not including oil, between the UAE and Malaysia reached $4.6 billion in 2022, a growth of five percent compared to 2021 and up 31 percent and 18 percent compared to 2020 and 2019, respectively, according to the news agency.

The UAE accounts for 32 percent of Malaysia’s trade with Arab states.
Malaysian investments in the UAE have crossed $150 million while the UAE’s investments in Malaysia amount to more than $220 million, al-Zeyoudi was quoted as saying by WAM.

He reportedly “underscored that the agreement between the UAE and Malaysia will contribute to the consolidation of trade and investment relations between the two friendly countries, launching a new era of partnership that will accelerate opportunities for the business communities in the two countries, especially in priority sectors,” according to the WAM report.

“With the commencement of negotiations for the Malaysia-UAE CEPA, Malaysia is committed to enhancing the longstanding economic partnership with the UAE. It will set the stage for a comprehensive and mutually beneficial economic framework that will forge stronger strategic collaborations, foster innovation, spur economic growth, and create job opportunities for both nations,” Aziz was quoted as saying.

“The UAE consistently holds its position as a crucial and strategic trading partner for Malaysia in the Middle East, while Malaysia is an ideal gateway for UAE to venture into the Asia Pacific market. Building upon our shared aspirations, I am confident that the Malaysia-UAE CEPA will bring immense benefits to businesses, entrepreneurs and citizens of both countries, propelling our special and close partnership to new heights.”

The UAE already has four similar trade agreements with India, Israel, Indonesia and Turkey. The agreements with India and Israel and already in effect, with the other two expected to be implemented soon.

“Additional agreements with Georgia and Cambodia are also soon to be signed, and the UAE is currently in talks with more markets of strategic importance at the regional and global level,” WAM reported.

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