On December 5, 2022, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced their intention to conclude a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). A joint statement on this matter was signed by the First Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko and the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.
The intention to start negotiations on the conclusion of the CEPA confirms the commitment of the two countries to strengthening bilateral economic ties and developing strong trade and investment flows between Ukraine and the UAE. Efforts in this direction were launched in February last year after the visit of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the UAE.
According to the results of 2021, the total volume of bilateral trade in goods and services between Ukraine and the United Emirates amounted to USD 1.147 billion, which is the most significant performance that the countries have achieved in the history of bilateral trade and economic relations. And the volume of UAE investments in the Ukrainian economy last year reached almost $243.3 million.
In the sectoral context, the largest share of cooperation between Ukraine and the UAE is trade in agricultural products (over 50%). Therefore, for the sake of food security in the Middle East, the Emirates are interested in the speedy economic recovery of our country.
"The conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Ukraine and the UAE will unlock the full potential of our cooperation in trade and investment, thereby helping our business communities to develop and seize new opportunities. The UAE has gained a well-deserved reputation as an important international trade and logistics hub. At the same time, Ukraine is known for its role as a global guarantor of food security and a fast-growing IT hub. Therefore, CEPA will make our economies complementary, and we look forward to working together to promote trade, the digital economy, as well as to facilitate our investment cooperation," said Yuliia Svyrydenko, who joined the event in Dubai online.
According to Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Ukraine has become the first European country with which the UAE intends to conclude a CEPA. Therefore, it underlines the importance of our country for the Emirates as a long-term trade and investment partner.
"The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Ukraine opens a number of new opportunities for our exporters, investors and producers, as well as provides access to new markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East for agricultural and industrial products from Ukraine. We are eager to negotiate a mutually beneficial Agreement that can not only contribute to Ukraine's economic recovery, but also to its long-term development and future prospects," said Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.
Except for trade in agricultural products, the largest share of economic cooperation between Ukraine and the UAE is metallurgy (about 30%). At the same time, cooperation in infrastructure projects, energy, pharmaceutical industry, as well as in the field of innovation, research, development and technology is extremely promising.
Negotiations between Ukraine and the UAE on the conclusion of the CEPA have already begun. From the Ukrainian side the negotiating group is headed by Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine - Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka, who was present during the event in Dubai.