Dubai: The UAE and the Republic of Serbia have started talks about establishing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). It aims to increase trade and investment flows as well as private-sector collaboration.
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Mr. Tomislav Momirovic, Serbia’s Minister of Internal and Foreign Trade, attended the first round of talks.
The negotiations, which took place in Dubai, also followed a series of high-level meetings, including the visit of UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Serbian capital, Belgrade in June 2023.
The visit resulted in several agreements designed to expand cooperation in sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture, food security, technology, and artificial intelligence.
“The launch of the negotiations between the UAE and Serbia is an important milestone in the relations between the two countries. Serbia is an emerging economy in an increasingly important part of Europe, with strategic links to many vital markets in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, while the UAE can serve as Serbia’s gateway to markets in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa,” Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi said.
“The CEPA will not only improve access to these global supply chains but enable our private sectors to build long-term partnerships and explore new investment opportunities,” the UAE Minister added.
A CEPA between the UAE and Serbia will seek to improve bilateral non-oil trade by reducing or eliminating customs duties, and removing unnecessary barriers to trade.
It will also protect intellectual property rights, support small and medium-sized companies, and facilitate mutual investment flows.
The UAE has successfully concluded CEPAs with India, Indonesia, Israel, Türkiye, Cambodia, and Georgia. The first four agreements have already come into effect.
It also aims to consolidate cooperation in the sectors of aviation, agriculture, construction, contracting, real estate, defense industries, and others, as per the statement.