Al Zeyoudi discusses new trade deal with Georgian PM
October 27, 2023 / 7:34 PM
Sharjah24 - WAM: Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, has conveyed to Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, the greetings of the UAE's wise leadership and its wishes for further prosperity and progress to the leadership and people of Georgia.
This came during a bilateral meeting in Tbilisi between Al Zeyoudi and the Prime Minister of Georgia as the two nations seek to leverage the trade and investment opportunities created by the recently signed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
Dr. Thani also met Levan Davitashvili, Georgia's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, to explore ways to progress the value of non-oil trade beyond the target of US$1.5 billion by 2028.
Dr. Al Zeyoudi and Garibashvili heralded the deal as a major boost to UAE-Georgia economic relations, and promised to work together to ensure both sides can derive maximum benefit from the improved market access provisions. The CEPA, signed in the UAE on 10th October, removes or reduces customs duties on 95% of product lines and is projected to add US$3.9 billion to UAE GDP by 2031.
The agreement builds on growing UAE-Georgia economic relations that resulted in non-oil trade beyond US$225 million in the first half of 2023, a 27.9 percent growth on H1 2022. Total non-oil trade between the UAE and Georgia reached US$468 million for 2022, up 110 percent in 2021. The UAE now accounts for over 63 percent of Georgia's trade with Arab countries.
The meetings were held on the sidelines of the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum, a trade and investment summit that gathers more than 2,000 policymakers, government officials and business leaders from 60 nations to the Georgian capital. Al Zeyoudi was joined at the Forum by Ahmad Ibrahim Al Nuaimi, UAE Ambassador to Georgia.
During the Forum, Al Zeyoudi participated in a panel discussion titled "Trade4Future", in which he emphasised the role of trade in socio-economic development, the UAE's commitment to multilateralism, and the importance of securing equitable access to global supply chains for emerging economies – all of which will be reflected on the agenda for the World Trade Organisation's 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) being held in Abu Dhabi in February 2024.
He said, "The Tbilisi Silk Road Forum has become a hugely important platform for the nations of the Caucasus, the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe to establish trade, investment and innovation networks, share knowledge and secure vital East-West supply chains. As demonstrated with the UAE-Georgia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, we see incredible potential in these economies and welcome the opportunity to explore more opportunities and economic synergies.