The Eurasian Economic Union starts negotiations with the United Arab Emirates on concluding a free trade agreement. The corresponding decision was made by the EAEU Heads of State during their meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council held on December 9 in Bishkek.
"The joint research group's work has shown that a free trade area with the UAE will create conditions for increasing our supplies of more than 1,300 commodity items in both the industrial and agricultural sectors," Andrey Slepnev, Minister in charge of Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission, commented on the decision.
At the same time, he stressed that the EEC treats the forthcoming work broader than simply forming a preferential regime for trade in goods. The relevance of multifaceted interaction is proved by the high interest and a large number of companies from the Union countries, including innovative ones, acting in the United Arab Emirates, as well as the role of this state as an international trade and transport and logistics hub.
In addition, the agreement with the UAE is addressed through the lens of strengthening the EAEU exporters' positions in the countries of the entire Persian Gulf in the context of the Greater Eurasian Partnership and the North-South Corridor.
According to Andrey Slepnev, during the negotiations, the parties expect to move in the fast track mode and hold the first round as early as March next year.
The Joint Research Group (JRG) to study the feasibility of concluding a free trade agreement between the EAEU and the UAE was established pursuant to the order of the EEC Council in April 2022. Based on the research carried out, the JRG considered it appropriate to initiate the negotiations. The results of the group's work, as well as the conceptual provisions of the future agreement, were considered at a meeting held by the Council of the Commission on November 25 this year.The EAEU-UAE mutual trade increased 4 times from 2015 to 2021, having reached 6.3 bln dollars: the EAEU exports increased 4.7 times, and imports from the UAE grew by 47%.