ABU DHABI, 6th April, 2023 (WAM) -- The UAE and Vietnam today signed a mutual declaration of intent to start negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA).
The document was signed by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Nguyen Hong Dien, Minister of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, during the official visit of a Vietnamese delegation to the UAE.
During the signing, Dr. Al Zeyoudi highlighted the deep-rooted relations between the UAE and Vietnam, which are witnessing ongoing development in all areas, most notably in the economy and trade.
The UAE is the leading trade partner of Vietnam in the Arab region, accounting for 39 percent of Vietnamese trade with the region's countries, he added, noting that their non-oil trade exchange in 2022 was valued at AED29.4 billion (US$8 billion).
He also pointed out an increase in their trade in goods except for phones and accessories, which now constitute more than 46 percent of their trade exchange compared to less than 36 percent in 2019, and is now valued at AED13.5 billion, a rise of 9 percent from 2021.
Al Zeyoudi then highlighted the UAE's keenness to boost its economic and trade partnership with Vietnam through a CEPA since Vietnam was the UAE's leading trade partner in East Asia in 2022 and is among the countries it aims to sign CEPAs with.
The two sides discussed ways of strengthening their cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, the new economy, industry, energy, logistics, agriculture and infrastructure.
Al Zeyoudi also briefed the Vietnamese delegation about the UAE's recent achievements in creating a promising and attractive business environment for various commercial sectors, including introducing relevant legislative amendments and allowing foreigners to completely own projects, as well as facilitating business start-up procedures.
He also highlighted the importance for the Vietnamese business community to benefit from the NextGenFDI initiative, which offers a comprehensive range of enablers and incentives that include facilitating access for foreign companies in the country's markets.
Nguyen highlighted his happiness at the signing of the mutual declaration of intent that will lead to the start of negotiations for a CEPA, which will help increase the trade exchange between the two countries and encourage mutual investments.
He also lauded the UAE's prominent international stature as a trade, investment and logistics hub, adding that Vietnam has become a centre for several key industries.