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UAE, Colombia boost trade, investment cooperation with CEPA signing

UAE, Colombia boost trade, investment cooperation with CEPA signing
19 Apr 2024 17:27

BOGOTA (WAM)


Gustavo Petro, President of the Republic of Colombia, received Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, at the Presidential Palace in the capital Bogota, on the sidelines of a high-level UAE delegation's visit to Colombia.

President Gustavo Petro and Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi affirmed that the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is a significant milestone in UAE-Colombia relations, as their bilateral non-oil trade reached $553.1 million in 2023, a record increase of 43 percent compared to 2022 and more than double the total achieved in 2021.

The CEPA is expected to double these figures within five years of its implementation by reducing customs tariffs, removing trade barriers, and improving market access for exports of goods and services.

The agreement will also open up avenues for investment and joint ventures in sectors, such as energy, environment, hospitality, tourism, infrastructure, agriculture, and food production.

During the visit, Dr. Al Zeyoudi met with a number of ministers, senior government officials, and private sector representatives to boost economic cooperation and bilateral relations following the signing of the CEPA between the two countries.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi discussed with Germán Umaña Mendoza, Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism of Colombia, ways to enhance economic, investment, and trade relations and create an effective trade and investment climate within the framework of the CEPA to contribute to the free flow of trade and investment between the two countries.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi said that Colombia is the fourth-largest economy in South America in terms of GDP and has a highly skilled workforce and abundant natural resources, including coffee, oil, gas, coal, and gold, which contribute significantly to its GDP. It also enjoys a strategic location as an economic hub for the entire South American region.

He added that through their investments in digital infrastructure and new industrial sectors, they are confident that Emirati investors and entrepreneurs will be able to leverage a wealth of opportunities.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi urged participants in the high-level roundtable meeting, which included senior officials, representatives of leading companies, and investors, to build on the growing bilateral relations and strengthen cooperation with the private sector.

He also met with members of the chambers of commerce of the UAE and Colombia, calling for them to leverage the CEPA between the two countries to reap the benefits of greater economic integration.

The CEPA between the UAE and Colombia comes within the framework of the UAE's Comprehensive Economic Partnership Programme. CEPA agreements have been signed with India, Israel, Indonesia, Turkey, Cambodia, Georgia, and Costa Rica.

The agreement with Colombia is the latest pillar of the UAE’s CEPA programme, which aims to raise the value of the country's non-oil foreign trade to Dh4 trillion by 2031. 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 Dh2.6 trillion – Dh3.5 trillion including trade in services – in 2023.

The meetings were attended by Mohammed Abdullah Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Colombia, with the UAE delegation including several government officials and business leaders from leading private sector companies.

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