Gulf Business: Georgia and the UAE have signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) to build stronger and more integrated economic relations between the two nations.
The signing took place in Georgia’s capital Tblisi during a UAE delegation’s visit to the country, which included a meeting of the UAE-Georgian Business Forum.
The CEPA will enhance and diversify bilateral trade and economic relations by eliminating or significantly reducing tariffs, removing non-tariff barriers and promoting trade in goods, services and investment.
UAE – Georgia trade
The deal is coming amid rapidly advancing trade and investment ties between the UAE and Georgia. In 2022, bilateral non-oil trade was worth $468m, representing an impressive 110 per cent growth compared to 2021.
The UAE now accounts for more than 63 per cent of the total volume of Georgia’s trade with Arab countries, while its investments into Georgia represent 5 per cent of its total FDI, making the UAE its sixth largest global investor.
The countries had begun talks regarding the CEPA in September last year.
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said: “The successful conclusion of negotiations with Georgia represents another huge stride forward in our foreign trade agenda and signals our ambition to build a truly global network of trade partners in strategically important parts of the world.”
He added: “It is an economy based on free-market principles that hold considerable promise for our exporters and investors, and we look forward to developing opportunities in priority sectors such as agriculture, transportation, tourism, renewable energy, and digital trade.”
“The UAE is committed to enhancing our business ecosystems to attract FDI, foster innovation, and accelerate diversification, and this deal creates a platform for knowledge-sharing and joint ventures that will future-proof our economies and drive long-term, sustainable growth.”
Levan Davitashvili, Georgia’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, said: “I strongly believe that establishment of free trade regime between Georgia and UAE will be of benefit for both countries. Namely, we can serve as the best gateway for the UAE companies to the region, with the geographic location and business environment it offers.
“On the other hand, FTA will provide extended opportunities to promote and develop different industries and increase and diversify Georgian export. Concluding the negotiations of the CEPA in only three rounds is nothing else, if not a sign of dedication of both parties to further bolster the already well-established bilateral relationship between our two countries.
“I am certain that this agreement will serve as a solid basis for further enhancement of trade and investment cooperation between our countries.”
In line with growth strategy
The UAE’s new foreign trade agenda is a core component of the nation’s growth strategy that seeks to double the size of the economy from $381bn to $762bn by 2030.
The UAE has now signed CEPAs with India, Israel, Indonesia and Turkiye, and is set to conclude negotiations with other strategically important nations.