UAE, South Korea conclude CEPA negotiations

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Seoul [South Korea], October 14: Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Dukgeun Ahn, Minister of Trade for the Republic of Korea, have concluded their negotiations towards a CEPA between the two nations, which will pave the way for a new chapter of economic cooperation.

Abdullah Saif Al Nuaimi, UAE Ambassador to South Korea, and Juma Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Affairs in the Ministry of Economy, attended the signing in the Korean capital, Seoul.

This represents the latest milestone in the UAE’s foreign trade agenda, launched in September 2021 to develop deeper ties with strategic allies worldwide.

A UAE-Korea CEPA will reinforce East-West supply chains, facilitate two-way FDI flows, and enhance joint research and knowledge exchange across a range of sectors, including energy, advanced manufacturing, technology, food security and healthcare.

On concluding negotiations, Al Zeyoudi said, “The Republic of Korea is an important growth partner for the UAE, with its highly sophisticated economy built on manufacturing, logistics, and advanced technology. Our two nations share a deep commitment to driving long-term, sustainable growth through trade, investment and economic diversification. Our latest CEPA will drive cooperation across each of them, empowering both economies with new insights, experiences and knowledge. This deal can potentially be a powerful catalyst for innovation and enterprise.”

The bilateral deal comes amid advancing trade exchange between the two nations. In the first half of 2023, bilateral non-oil trade reached USD 3 billion, which is consistent with H1 2022 and up 21 per cent in the same period in 2021.

The UAE is Korea’s second-largest Arab trade partner, while Korea is the UAE’s eleventh-largest trading partner among non-Arab Asian countries.

At the Presidential Summit in January 2023, the two nations signed a number of memoranda of understanding, including the ROK-UAE Trade and Investment Promotion Framework to pursue optimal trade collaboration strategies, covering areas such as supply chains, digital trade, logistics, business environment and technical barriers to trade, and a USD 30 billion plans to invest in strategic sectors of the Korean economy.

In April this year, all four units of the USD 20 billion Barakah Power Plant in Abu Dhabi, constructed by the Korea Electric Power Corporation in a consortium that included Hyundai, Samsung, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, and Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, became operational, with the capability of meeting up to 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity needs.

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