Dubai (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates and Cambodia signed a bilateral trade agreement on Thursday, the Gulf state’s fifth such deal under a trade strategy launched in 2021.
Known as Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPA), the trade strategy is a key pillar of the UAE’s economic growth plans as it seeks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
The agreement with Cambodia will reduce or remove tariffs, “eliminating barriers to trade, and creating new avenues for strategic investment,” Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE’s minister for foreign trade tweeted.
Non-oil trade between the UAE and Cambodia reached $407 million in 2022, with the aim of pushing this beyond $1 billion in the next five years, Zeyoudi said.
The deal should increase exports of grains, fruits, meats, clothing and leather goods, among other items, from Cambodia and exports from the UAE of machinery, oil and lubricants. The two countries will also explore investment opportunities in logistics, infrastructure, travel and renewable energy, according to the UAE ministry of economy.
Before Cambodia, the UAE signed CEPAs with India, Indonesia, Israel and Turkey. It has more than 10 other CEPAs in the works.