According to Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the UAE minister of State for Foreign Trade, the country is actively pursuing comprehensive economic partnership agreements with 27 countries and economic conglomerates, covering a vast network of 103 countries that collectively represent approximately 95 percent of global trade. This ambitious undertaking is projected to have a highly positive impact on the UAE’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with an estimated increase of $41.71 billion by 2031. Furthermore, it is anticipated that this initiative will propel exports to reach $100.25 billion, accompanied by a notable growth rate of 33 percent.
Zeyoudi presented these comments as part of a thorough evaluation of the impact of international trade agreements on the domestic economy. The presentation took place during a session held at the UAE Government annual meetings, which occurred from November 7 to 8. The meetings were presided over by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President of the UAE, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai.
Ambitious UAE trade goals
According to Al Zeyoudi, the UAE holds a prominent global position in foreign trade and is recognized as a leading international hub for non-oil foreign trade. This achievement is attributed to effective leadership, a progressive vision for the future of the economy, support for valuable and productive business collaborations, the expansion of the nation’s network of trading partners, and increased global trade and investment opportunities. The UAE’s success in these areas has been facilitated by the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements, which promote economic diversification and has contributed to a significant increase in the country’s GDP. He further stated that these collaborations reflect the UAE’s aim to increase its foreign non-oil trade to 4 trillion dirhams by 2031.
“To achieve national targets, the UAE has set ambitious trade goals and radical changed its global trading model. The partnership agreements cover a wide range of sectors and areas, and the partnership agreements open new markets. The UAE also wants to become the global leader in services exports and double the value of re-exports. Additionally, the country aims to connect with a particular group of very prominent nations in global trade, as well as expand its influence into various international markets,” Al Zeyoudi added.
Access to a new range of markets
“The UAE, through 8 comprehensive economic partnership agreements, has gained access to a new set of markets,” he noted.
“After coming into effect, the nation’s first comprehensive economic cooperation agreements—signed with India—saw instant benefits. In a single year, the value of non-oil commerce between the two nations topped $54.8 billion. Within five years, the bilateral trade target set forth in the Convention is $100 billion annually. This has a favorable impact on the GDP of the nation in the years leading up to 2031, increasing it by more than 2.5 percent and by $13 billion, to reach $128 billion in total commerce between the two nations in that year.”
“The UAE is currently in talks to conclude comprehensive economic partnership agreements with 13 countries and an economic bloc,” he continued. “These include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Vietnam, Mercosur, Malaysia, Kenya, Thailand, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Colombia, and the Eurasian Economic Union. In the future, the State intends to sign 15 more agreements with 15 States for comprehensive economic partnerships,” Al Zeyoudi added.
Competitive edge in 9 key sectors
“The UAE enjoys a competitive edge in nine important service-related industries. With two thirds of the global economic output, the services sector is one of the fastest growing in the global economy. ICT, education, built services, financial services that are Islamic, financial services, medical tourism, the creative economy, logistics, travel, and tourism make up sector nine,” the minister noted.
“The UAE is the fifth largest country in the world in terms of re-export,” he clarified. This industry supports roughly one million jobs and adds 6.6 percent of GDP. In 2022, the export industry will have a total value of 614.6 billion dirhams and contribute 28 percent of the nation’s non-oil commerce.”
The goal is to double the re-export sector in order to raise its GDP value added to 3.5 times the existing impact, as well as the 600,000 jobs that are anticipated to be created. The target re-export plan will concentrate on certain geographic areas and industries by finding high-potential untapped markets, high-growth markets, and accounting for the demand for emerging products worldwide. Al Zeyoudi stated, “It will also concentrate on developing new export categories and critical areas of state growth.
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