The United Arab Emirates and Ukraine on Monday announced their intention to start negotiations on a bilateral trade deal that is expected to conclude by the middle of next year, the UAE economy ministry said.
The UAE’s minister of state for foreign trade, Thani Al Zeyoudi, and Ukraine’s economy minister, Yulia Svyrydenko, signed a joint statement on negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the ministry said.
It would be the UAE’s first such deal with a European country, following more than $3 billion in trade and investment pledges made during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the Gulf state in February 2021.
“For us, Ukraine is a key trade partner. The growth and investment potential was high before the whole geopolitical situation; we think it’s time to push things forward,” Al Zeyoudi told Reuters.
UAE-Ukraine non-oil trade amounted to just over $900 million in 2021, up nearly 29 percent over the previous year, and 12 percent more than in 2019, according to the UAE ministry.
Talks will likely center on opportunities to expand trade in the services sector, and on food security where the UAE, a trade hub, is making a push. Ukraine is a major supplier of grain to the Middle East.
The ministry statement said a CEPA with Ukraine would open up access to new markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for Ukraine’s agricultural and industrial output.
“This is not only going to bring added value to the UAE but also to Ukraine as well,” Al Zeyoudi told Reuters.
The UAE has signed free trade deals with India, Israel, and Indonesia this year, aiming to build its position as a global trade and logistics hub at a time of rising competition from Saudi Arabia.
UAE reiterates call to end Russia-Ukraine war through diplomacy, dialogueThe United Arab Emirates has reiterated its call to end the Russian war in Ukraine through diplomacy and dialogue.The UAE’s Assistant Minister of ... Gulf
UAE president orders $100 million in humanitarian aid to UkraineUAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered the provision of $100 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.The aid will help civilians ... Gulf
UAE, UK foreign affairs officials discuss Russia-Ukraine war in callUAE Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed has discussed the conflict in Ukraine in a call with his UK counterpart James Cleverly.“The two ... Gulf
UAE President discusses Ukraine war in call with ZelenskyyUAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed the latest developments of the Russia-Ukraine war in a call with Ukrainian President ... Gulf