UAE and Ecuador Initiate Negotiations for CEPA

UAE and Ecuador Initiate Negotiations for CEPA

Nairobi, The Gulf Observer: Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Sonsoles Garcia, Minister of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments, and Fisheries of Ecuador, convened in Nairobi today to formalize their commitment to commence negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ecuador. This landmark agreement was announced as part of the UAE delegation’s visit to several Latin American countries, marking a strategic move to deepen commercial ties across the region.

The signing of the joint statement follows similar agreements inked by the UAE with Costa Rica and Colombia last week, underscoring the UAE’s strategic vision to expand its commercial and investment footprint in Latin America, thereby fostering sustainable economic development.

The envisioned partnership aims to significantly bolster non-oil bilateral trade while fostering greater investment flows between the two nations. By eliminating trade barriers and facilitating the exchange of diverse goods and services, the CEPA sets the stage for new economic opportunities, both in terms of exports and imports. It provides Ecuadorian enterprises with access to the UAE’s robust economic landscape and strategic geographic position while affording Emirati businesses and investors a gateway to Latin American markets, starting with Ecuador.

In 2023, non-oil bilateral trade between the UAE and Ecuador surged to $675 million, marking a remarkable 76% increase compared to 2022 and more than tripling the figures recorded in 2021. Notably, Dubai Ports World’s significant investment of $1.2 billion in Ecuador’s Port of Posorja exemplifies the burgeoning economic collaboration between the two nations.

Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Al Zeyoudi emphasized that the commencement of negotiations with Ecuador aligns with the UAE’s overarching goal to solidify its status as a global trade, investment, and logistical hub. He highlighted the vast opportunities for deeper economic integration between the two countries, particularly in sectors such as agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, technology, and renewable energy.

In response, Minister Garcia underscored the enduring and evolving trade relations between Ecuador and the UAE, driven by mutual interests in advancing cooperation across various economic domains. She emphasized the significance of initiating CEPA negotiations, heralding a new chapter in bilateral economic ties, with active engagement from both countries’ business communities and private sectors.