A landmark Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Türkiye and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), signed earlier this year in March, is set to come into effect, marking the dawn of a new era in their economic relations. The agreement’s activation, following the completion of internal approval processes, was announced by Anadolu Agency (AA) on Thursday, August 31, 2023. In March, Türkiye and the UAE inked an extensive economic partnership deal aimed at bolstering trade and economic cooperation. Recently, these ties were further fortified during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s official visit to the Gulf nation, which resulted in the signing of 13 agreements worth an impressive $50.7 billion.
With the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement entering into force, experts anticipate a substantial transformation in the economic dynamics between Türkiye and the UAE. This agreement is poised to serve as a robust instrument for elevating bilateral trade volumes and mutual investments, aligning seamlessly with the interests and expectations of both nations. Last year, Türkiye’s foreign trade volume with the UAE, its largest trade partner in the Gulf region, reached nearly $10 billion. A multitude of globally renowned Turkish companies spanning industries from construction to gastronomy, logistics, finance, health, education, and tourism have been thriving in the UAE market.
Tevfik Öz, the President of the Türkiye-UAE Business Council at the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), emphasized the depth and comprehensiveness of the bilateral trade network between Türkiye and the UAE. He stated, “The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement aims to bring new dimensions to bilateral trade relations. According to the agreement, in addition to the trade of goods, it covers service trade, measures to facilitate trade for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), public procurement, intellectual property, trade measures, and other regulatory rules.” Öz continued, “With this agreement, Turkish products will find easier access to the UAE market and other countries. The interest of UAE investors in our country will increase, and we believe we can reach and even exceed the $25 billion trade volume in a short time.”
This significant economic development between Türkiye and the UAE is part of a broader trend of warming ties between Türkiye and the Arab world. President Erdoğan’s visit to the Gulf region in July yielded multiple contracts and agreements in various sectors, including energy, direct investment, defense, and media. Notably, Türkiye and Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at deepening cooperation in the critical minerals sector, according to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar. Saudi Arabia’s industry minister, Bandar Alkhorayef, emphasized that their relationship with Türkiye goes beyond a mere supplier-customer dynamic.
Alkhorayef stated, “We find great opportunities for cooperation with Türkiye in food security, health, the military, and industrial sectors. The aircraft and defense industries, along with the development of essential materials like aluminum for aircraft fuselages, titanium, carbon fiber, and petrochemical materials, are pivotal sectors for our collaboration.” He further highlighted that the partnership encompasses localization of industries, technology transfer, training, qualification, and capacity-building in research, development, and innovation, emphasizing that it is a profound and multifaceted partnership.
As the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement comes into effect, the stage is set for Türkiye and the UAE to embark on a prosperous journey of economic collaboration and innovation, redefining their bilateral relations and contributing to regional economic growth and stability.