UAE, Colombia sign CEPA

The CEPA with Colombia is an important part of the UAE’s foreign trade agenda, which aims to enhance bilateral trade flows…reports Asian Lite News

President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his Colombian counterpart Gustavo Petro have witnessed the signing of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the UAE and Colombia. The agreement was signed by His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and His Excellency German Umaña, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism for Colombia.

The CEPA with Colombia is an important part of the UAE’s foreign trade agenda, which aims to enhance bilateral trade flows by cutting tariffs, removing trade barriers, and improving market access for both merchandise and service exports while opening pathways for investment and joint ventures in sectors such as energy, the environment, hospitality, tourism, infrastructure, agriculture, and food production.

The UAE-Colombia CEPA follows an impressive increase in bilateral non-oil trade, which climbed 43% to reach an all-time high of USD 53.1 million in 2023 – more than double the total achieved in 2021. Additionally, the two nations in recent years have signed numerous cooperation agreements, which covered aviation, renewable energy, the environment, hydrogen, travel, free zones, and artificial intelligence.

During remarks at the signing ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan heralded the agreement as an important contribution to the UAE’s foreign trade approach, which seeks to advance non-oil foreign trade beyond AED 4 trillion by 2031.

His Highness noted that the establishment of strategic partnerships that serve mutual interests is part of the UAE’s efforts to build bridges of friendship and cooperation with all nations that share its vision of creating a prosperous and sustainable future for coming generations. The UAE-Colombia CEPA, His Highness continued, will open a promising new chapter in deepening economic ties between the two nations, enabling businesses to benefit from access to not only to each other’s markets but also their respective regions. His Highness remarked that Colombia’s high-growth, technologically advanced economy will provide a range of opportunities for private sector collaboration, and the UAE looks forward to leveraging these in the months and years to come.

For his part, His Excellency Gustavo Petro said, “I celebrate these new horizons being opened, like he who looks at the other side of the sea or he who crosses it, even in the midst of a storm, and is able to reach a safe haven.”

He added, “UAE and Colombian ports and our peoples may embrace in friendship, solidarity, and goodwill, which is what can actually save humanity.”

The agreement with Colombia is the latest pillar of the UAE’s CEPA programme. Agreements with India, Israel, Indonesia, Türkiye, and Cambodia are now in full operation and are already making a significant contribution to the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade, which reached a record AED 2.6 trillion – AED 3.5 trillion including trade in services – in 2023. Agreements with Congo-Brazzaville, Costa Rica, Georgia, Kenya, Mauritius, and South Korea have also been concluded.

Attending the signing ceremony were H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; and Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Presidential Court.

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