UAE and Malaysia discuss strengthening economic and trade ties

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) praised the strong relations between the UAE and Malaysia and reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to enhancing trade cooperation while creating opportunities for businesses on both sides.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, disclosed this during a discussion held with Malaysian Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz in Abu Dhabi recently.

This meeting was part of a visit by Malaysia’s prominent trade officials to the UAE, reported Emirates News Agency (WAM).

The report said the two sides also reviewed the progress of the negotiations towards a UAE-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was launched during a visit to Kuala Lumpur by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in May 2023.

This marks the second meeting between the two trade ministers since the commencement of CEPA negotiations, of which the inaugural one transpired in Jakarta at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit earlier this month – underscoring the deepening ties between the UAE and Malaysia, as well as the broader ASEAN bloc.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said Malaysia is an esteemed partner for the UAE in an increasingly pivotal region that shares its vision of leveraging global trade for accelerated growth and economic diversification.

“The meeting with the Malaysian delegation provided an important opportunity to explore the sectors with maximum potential for our respective private sectors, and to build consensus on issues impacting global trade ahead of MC13 in Abu Dhabi in February next year,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul stated Malaysia is enthusiastic about fortifying its relations with the UAE, a nation that continues to ascend in importance as a strategic trading ally for Malaysia.

“Situated at the crossroads between East and West, the UAE offers immense opportunities for our exporters and their efforts to expand into global markets. Valuing UAE’s commitment to ensuring sustainability, Malaysia hopes to be the strategic partner for the UAE in this area, and we look forward to working together to ensure this relationship will deliver long-term and mutually beneficial rewards.”

Both ministers welcomed the recent surge in non-oil bilateral trade, which exceeded US$2.226 billion in the first half of 2023. Presently, the UAE stands as Malaysia’s second-largest trading partner in the Middle East, accounting for 32 per cent of its total trade with Arab nations. Conversely, Malaysia holds the eighth position among Non-Arab Asian countries for UAE exports and the nineteenth for re-exports.

The two parties additionally expressed their intent to escalate investments to build upon the existing combined Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of US$370 million.-Bernama