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UAE and Philippines kick off Cepa talks to expand trade

Non-oil trade between the UAE and the Philippines increased to $500m in the first half of 2023, up 19.4% Wam
Non-oil trade between the UAE and the Philippines increased to $500m in the first half of 2023, up 19.4%

The UAE and the Philippines have started preliminary talks to establish a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa) to strengthen existing bilateral and economic ties. 

“The Philippines is a key strategic partner for the UAE and a high-growth economy in the heart of a rapidly growing region,” UAE minister of state for foreign trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said.

Beyond lower tariffs and reduced barriers to trade, the UAE-Philippines Cepa is expected to drive capital flows by opening avenues for new investments and joint ventures.

Non-oil trade between the two countries increased to $500 million in the first half of 2023, up 19.4 percent year on year, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported. 

Total bilateral non-oil trade reached $1.9 billion in 2022, marking a twofold increase over the last two years.

The UAE is the Philippines’ second largest trade partner in the Middle East and Africa, accounting for 30 percent of the Philippines’ total trade with the region.

The Philippines’ foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UAE reached $31.1 million in 2020, while the total UAE direct investment into the Philippines reached $11 million in 2021. 

The UAE last month was aiming to achieve a fivefold increase in trade and investments with the Philippines within three to five years once the Cepa enters into force, Al Zeyoudi told the Philippine News Agency.

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