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The recent UAE-Türkiye Business Forum, held in Abu Dhabi, witnessed the unveiling of two major agreements aimed at catalysing investment across key sectors of both nations' economies.
The two announcements, designed to enhance cooperation between the business communities in the two countries, were announced during the Business Forum, which aims to increase economic partnership and drive investments between the two countries.
The Forum follows the historic signing of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two nations in March 2023, which is due to enter into force in September, and coincides with the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the UAE.
The Forum was attended by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, UAE Minister of Investment.
The Forum witnessed a presentation of the most promising investment opportunities in the UAE across a variety of verticals and sectors, including trade, technology, financial activities, insurance, transport and logistics, real estate, and manufacturing. In addition, Turkish companies were invited to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the business and trade environment in the UAE.
The first agreement was signed between the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), represented by Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, and Mustafa Gültepe, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federation for TIM.
The second agreement was agreed between the UAE's Alpha Dhabi Holding and the Turkish group Limak Holding, represented by Hamad Salem Al Ameri, Managing Director and CEO of Alpha Abu Dhabi Holding, and Ebru Özdemir, Chairman of Limak Holding. This agreement aims to conclude a set of commercial partnerships between the two sides and establish joint ventures in various fields, such as construction and development, infrastructure, energy and hospitality.
The Forum presented several promising investment opportunities; these include the UAE's allowance of 100% foreign ownership of companies, flexible tax policies, fast-track procedures for establishing a business, and access to the products and goods of companies operating in the UAE at reduced duties and fees via Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements that the UAE has concluded with a number of strategic partners.
In addition, the Turkish business community was also offered the opportunity to join the NextGenFDI initiative, which offers a package of support services including bulk visa issuance and banking support to streamline market entry to the UAE.
The Forum comes on the back of record FDI results for the UAE, with investment increasing to hit US$23 billion by the end of 2022, an increase of 10% over 2021. The UAE-Türkiye CEPA is anticipated to drive an increase in UAE-Türkiye trade, which is already at record levels.
Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said that this was 'a golden era' for UAE-Türkiye relations, with the latest data showing that total non-oil trade between the two nations rose to US$18 billion in 2022, a growth of 40% over 2021 and an increase of 112% over 2020, making Türkiye the fastest growing of the UAE's top 10 trading partners. He added that the total balance of investments between the two countries had increased to $20 billion.
"The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement signed between the UAE and Türkiye, which will enter into force this September, will contribute to the launch of a new era of economic integration between our two countries," he said. "Our trade and investment ties continue to deepen and the CEPA agreement will create more opportunities for the UAE and Turkish business communities. It will open new paths for exporters of goods and services to the two countries and surrounding regional markets, stimulating trade and investment flows in both countries," said Al Zeyoudi.
For his part, Prof. Ömer Bolat Turkish Minister of Trade, affirmed that the UAE is one of Türkiye's most important trading partners in the region and the Arab world. There is a common will to elevate these growing relations to broader levels in conjunction with the imminent implementation of the CEPA. The agreement aims to double the current value of intra-oil non-oil trade within the next five years by cancelling or reducing customs duties on most goods and products exchanged between the two sides.
He added that the convening of the Emirati-Turkish Business Forum as part of the visit of President Erdogan to the UAE reflects the extent of interest in developing economic relations between the two countries, especially since it is an ideal platform for concluding partnerships between the business community and the private sector in the two countries.
Bolat stated that Türkiye and the UAE share many common values that add great depth to bilateral relations, strengthening economic and trade ties, opening the way for accelerating growth and supporting sustainable development.
Others in attendance included Abdullah Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Federation of the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Abdullah Humaid Al Hameli, Chairman of the UAE side of the UAE-Türkiye Business Council; Nail Olpak, Chairman of the Turkish Council on International and Economic Relations; and Tufik Oz, Chairman of the Turkish side of the UAE-Türkiye Business Council, along with a large number of officials, business leaders, and representatives of companies in both countries.