Malaysia, UAE to sign extensive FTA this year: Tengku Zafrul - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Malaysia, UAE to sign extensive FTA this year: Tengku Zafrul

Malaysia, UAE to sign extensive FTA this year: Tengku Zafrul

04 Jun 2024

Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have today reaffirmed their commitment to sign the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) by this year. 

This was made during a bilateral meeting between Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Aziz and his counterpart Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of state for foreign trade of the UAE, who was on a one-day working visit to Malaysia. 

The CEPA’s first round of negotiations commenced in October 2023.

The ministry, in a statement, said Malaysia’s first free trade agreement (FTA) with a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is expected to pave the way for deeper economic collaboration. 

This will foster a conducive environment for increased trade and investment flows, not just between the two nations but between Asean and the GCC region in general.

Tengku Zafrul said the substantive progress on CEPA negotiations reflects Malaysia’s commitment to creating a comprehensive framework that mutually benefits Malaysia and the UAE. 

“As Malaysia’s second largest trading partner in West Asia region, Malaysia is optimistic that the signing of the CEPA will further elevate our economic linkages with the UAE to the next level,” he added. 

In addition to the CEPA, both ministers had the opportunity to discuss, among others, potential trade and investment cooperation between the UAE and Malaysia, especially in the areas of semiconductor and renewable energy. 

These sectors are among the priority areas identified by both countries for collaboration towards both nations’ economic growth and technological advancement.

Dr. Thani was accompanied by nine prominent UAE business leaders, representing sectors such as green energy, logistics, retail and airline. 

The delegation aims to explore new business opportunities, forge strategic partnerships, and reinforce existing collaborations with their Malaysian partners towards a shared aspiration of sustainable economic growth for both countries.

Dr. Thani also paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. 

The high-level engagement further solidified the strategic partnership between Malaysia and the UAE, opening new avenues for cooperation and mutual progress. 

Dr. Thani’s visit underscored the UAE’s commitment to fostering strong international partnerships and advancing sustainable economic development.

For the first quarter of 2024, bilateral trade recorded a significant increase of 43.4 per cent to RM11.70 billion. 

On the investment front, as of 2023, 34 manufacturing projects with Emirati participation worth RM1.49 billion (US$0.39 billion) were implemented. 

These projects created a total of 2,039 employment opportunities in Malaysia.

Source: NST