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RIYADH: The UAE is set to establish comprehensive economic partnership agreements with 27 countries and economic blocs representing up to 95 percent of global trade, said a senior government official. 

Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, the UAE minister of state for foreign trade, said these agreements will increase the country’s gross domestic product by approximately $41.71 billion by 2031. 

He added that will also lead to an expected 33 percent growth in export volume to $100.25 billion. 

Al-Zeyoudi stated that the UAE is currently negotiating with 13 countries and economic blocs to establish free trade agreements. 

These countries include Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, and Kenya, as well as Ukraine, Thailand, and the Eurasian Economic Union. 

It is also holding talks with Vietnam, Mercosur, Malaysia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Al-Zeyoudi made these remarks on Nov. 7 during his presentation on foreign trade agreements at the UAE government’s annual meetings, reported the Emirates News Agency, also known as WAM. 

The minister highlighted the UAE’s prominent position in foreign trade, establishing itself as a leading international hub for non-oil business. 

He emphasized the country was leveraging its free trade agreements to diversify the economy through its increasing network of trading partners. 

Al-Zeyoudi said these partnerships aligned with the UAE’s goal to increase its non-oil foreign trade to 4 trillion dirhams ($1.09 trillion) by 2031. 

According to WAM, the UAE aims to open new markets and establish itself as a global leader in service exports while increasing the value of re-exports. 

The UAE free trade agreement, which came into force on May 1, 2022, has achieved positive results, with non-oil trade exceeding $54.8 billion in one year. 

The agreement is projected to achieve $100 billion in annual bilateral trade within five years, contributing to an increase of over 2.5 percent in the country’s GDP by 2031. 

The partnership will grow the overall trade between the two nations to $128 billion. 

Al-Zeyoudi stated that the UAE is currently negotiating with 13 countries and economic blocs to establish free trade agreements. 

According to the minister, the country’s competitiveness in nine key service sectors is a critical advantage. These sectors include information technology, education, construction services, and Islamic financial services, as well, as financial services, medical tourism and creative economy. 

The country is the fifth-largest re-exporter globally, accounting for 6.6 percent of its GDP and providing approximately 1 million jobs.  

The total value of the re-export sector is 614.6 billion dirhams, contributing 28 percent to the country’s non-oil trade in 2022. 

Al-Zeyoudi emphasized the importance of hosting and chairing the 2024 World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference. 

During this event, the UAE will lead international efforts to shape global trade dialogues, improving the efficiency of global supply chains and creating a more resilient and sustainable global trade system, thus fostering comprehensive global development. 

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