The UAE and Cambodia have signed an economic partnership that is expected to more than double non-oil bilateral trade from 1.5 billion UAE dirhams ($407 million) in 2022 to 3.67 billion UAE dirhams ($1 billion) within five years.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed in Phnom Penh by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Pan Sorasak, Cambodia Minister of Commerce.

The partnership seeks to eliminate or reduce customs duties, remove unnecessary trade barriers, facilitate investments, open market access to services exports, and create more opportunities for businesses to forge new partnerships.

"It will not only contribute to our goal of doubling non-oil foreign trade by 2031 but also expand our presence in the rapidly growing economies of South-East Asia, opening new doors for exporters to reach millions of consumers," Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said about the partnership. 

In 2022, trade between the UAE and Cambodia surged 33% compared to 2021 and 28% compared to 2019.

The UAE is also a top trading partner for Cambodia in the Arab world, accounting for 70% of its trade with the region in 2022.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)