UAE & Ukraine review progress of CEPA negotiations
- UAE is Ukraine’s second largest GCC trade partner as of 2021 & the non-oil trade between the two countries exceeded AED1.4 billion in 2022
Abu Dhabi, 9 March 2023:
H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, held a meeting with Yulia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine; and Taras Kachka, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development, to discuss the latest developments with regard to the establishment of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the UAE and Ukraine. The meeting took place at the Ministry of Economy headquarters in Dubai.
The meeting explored strengthening of trade cooperation in various fields of shared interest, including real estate, transportation, energy, agriculture, technology, manufacturing industries and retail trade, which will also open up new avenues for investment exchanges.
During the meeting, H.E. Al Zeyoudi emphasized the importance of UAE-Ukraine relations, supported by the shared aspirations of both leaderships. Further building on these solid foundations, the UAE announced the launch of preliminary talks to establish a CEPA with Ukraine in December 2022.
H.E. Al Zeyoudi said: “The agreement presents a new roadmap to boost trade exchanges, provide more investment and trade opportunities for the UAE and Ukrainian business communities, and foster cooperation in various economic fields, especially infrastructure, heavy industries, aviation, information technology and food security.”
He added: “The two countries boast strategic geographical locations through which the rest of the world can access major markets in Europe, Africa and Asia. Besides, both markets have significant investment capabilities and great economic potential.” He also highlighted the UAE’s desire to strengthen its economic and trade partnership with Ukraine, which will contribute to the sustainable development of both economies.
H.E. Al Zeyoudi apprised the Ukrainian Minister of Economy of the UAE’s achievements in the recent past and the country’s success in building a promising investment environment replete with opportunities and capabilities that encourage the growth and prosperity of the private sector. With regard to the UAE’s efforts to establish strategic partnerships with selected key markets, H.E. highlighted the signing of four CEPAs to date – with India, Israel, Indonesia and Turkey. These efforts fall in line with the forward-looking vision of the UAE’s wise leadership, to transition to a new economic model characterized by enhanced openness, competitiveness, knowledge and innovation.
The meeting also saw H.E. Al Zeyoudi elaborate on the prominent role of the NextGenFDI initiative in enhancing the country’s attractiveness for FDI by attracting leading global companies to its markets. The initiative continues to successfully attract global companies operating in the sectors of technology, advanced applications and digital solutions to the UAE. This is strengthening the UAE’s position as a leading global hub for business, investment and innovation, adding more value to the growth and sustainability of the national economy.
H.E. Al Zeyoudi said: “NextGenFDI presents a promising opportunity for Ukrainian companies to relocate, invest and expand in the UAE in new economy sectors, specifically technology, AI and digital payments.” He explained that the initiative offers a comprehensive set of advantages and incentives to facilitate the relocation of companies to the country. This kind of support expedites their establishment in the UAE as it includes commercial and residential rental incentives; easy processing of necessary licenses and visas including golden residency; and financing; thus ensuring a seamless transition for their management and employees.
H.E. further underlined the investment incentives offered by the UAE’s pioneering economic environment and the comprehensive development of the economic legislation which now allows full foreign ownership of companies. Furthermore, the procedures for establishing businesses in the country have been simplified in a way that solidifies the UAE’s position as a destination of choice for businesses and investments. He also reviewed the indicators and markers of the country’s economic growth, which exceeded the expectations of global institutions. The most prominent of these include the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade crossing the AED 2.2 trillion mark in 2022 for the first time in its history and an unprecedented 8.5 per cent GDP growth at constant state prices in H1 2022. Following these developments, the UAE Central Bank raised its expectations for real GDP growth to reach 7.6 per cent by the end of 2022, and 3.9 per cent in 2023.
Meanwhile, H.E. Yulia Svyrydenko, said: “The trade and economic relations between the UAE and Ukraine are founded on fruitful cooperation and they continue to grow in various fields.” She pointed out that the meeting is a new step towards accelerating joint efforts to establish a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between the two countries. The partnership will contribute to enhancing the bilateral economic relations and their competitiveness in an unprecedented manner. It will also boost investment exchanges and business partnerships, thus promoting opportunities and enablers for the business communities in both countries.”
The UAE is Ukraine’s second largest GCC trade partner as of 2021, and the non-oil trade between the two countries exceeded AED1.4 billion (USD 388 million) in 2022.
The country’s investments in Ukraine totaled USD 100 million in September 2020, making the UAE the largest Arab investor in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukrainian FDI in the UAE reached USD 84 million in the beginning of 2021, mostly in real estate, retail trade, manufacturing, transportation, warehousing and technology sectors.
The UAE’s investments in Ukraine span many sectors including manufacturing, transportation, storage, gas, retail trade, real estate and agriculture.