Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi (right) and Levan Davitashvili during the signing ceremony in Tblisi.
Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Levan Davitashvili, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, signed a joint statement confirming the successful conclusion of negotiations towards the UAE-Georgia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which lays the foundation for deeper, stronger and more integrated economic relations between the two nations.
The signing took place in Georgia’s capital Tblisi during a UAE delegation’s visit to the country, which included a meeting of the UAE-Georgian Business Forum.
Once implemented, the CEPA will enhance and diversify bilateral trade and economic relations by eliminating or significantly reducing tariffs, removing non-tariff barriers and promoting trade in goods, services and investment.
The deal comes amid rapidly advancing trade and investment ties between the UAE and Georgia. In 2022, bilateral non-oil trade was worth $468 million, representing an impressive 110 percent growth compared to 2021. The UAE now accounts for more than 63 percent of the total volume of Georgia’s trade with Arab countries, while its investments into Georgia represent 5 percent of its total FDI, making the UAE Georgia’s sixth-largest global investor.
Commenting on the agreement, Dr Al Zeyoudi said, “The successful conclusion of negotiations with Georgia represents another huge stride forward in our foreign trade agenda and signals our ambition to build a truly global network of trade partners in strategically important parts of the world. Georgia is an economy based on free-market principles that holds considerable promise for our exporters and investors, and we look forward to developing opportunities in priority sectors such as agriculture, transportation, tourism, renewable energy and digital trade.”
“The UAE is committed to enhancing our business ecosystems to attract FDI, foster innovation and accelerate diversification, and this deal creates a platform for knowledge-sharing and joint-ventures that will future-proof our economies and drive long-term, sustainable growth,” he added.
For his part, the Georgian Vice Prime Minister stated, “I strongly believe that establishment of free trade regime between Georgia and UAE will be of benefit for both countries. Namely, Georgia can serve as the best gateway for the UAE companies to the region, with the geographic location and business environment it offers. On the other hand, FTA will provide extended opportunities to promote and develop different industries in Georgia and increase and diversify Georgian export.”
“Concluding the negotiations of the Georgia-UAE CEPA in only three rounds is nothing else, if not a sign of dedication of both parties to further bolster the already well-established bilateral relationship between our two countries. I am certain that this agreement will serve as a solid basis for further enhancement of trade and investment cooperation between our countries,” he explained.