United Arab Emirates:- Ministers and officials in the UAE government affirmed that the comprehensive economic partnership agreement signed with the Republic of Korea marks the beginning of a new era of economic growth and constructive cooperation across economic, trade, and investment sectors with one of the world's strongest economies.

The agreement aims to increase the free flow of trade between the two countries and open investment pathways in vital sectors. The signing of the agreement is part of the UAE's plans to double its non-oil foreign trade to reach AED 4 trillion and increase exports to AED 800 billion by 2031.

His Excellency Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affair

“The Ministry of Finance is keen to strengthen the UAE’s strategic relations across the world as we seek to build policies and partnerships to confront the challenges facing the global economy. The UAE’s Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the Republic of Korea is another important tool in our armoury, one that will spur further diversification, promote economic inclusion and attract investments into sectors of critical national interest – such as renewable energy and food security. Korea’s advanced economy, which has just posted a record trade surplus, presents an important partner for the UAE and we are ready to fully embrace its possibilities.”

His Excellency Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure said: “The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Korea reflects the robust trade and investment ties between our nations – which includes increasing collaboration in renewable energy and its associated infrastructure. The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Abu Dhabi, which was designed, built and operated by Korean energy firms, is the most conspicuous example, while the UAE has now committed to investing US$30 billion in the Korean economy, with renewable energy and advanced technology among the sectors earmarked. As Korea seeks to deliver on its Green New Deal, which includes commitments to generate 20 percent of the country’s power with renewables by 2030, and as the UAE meets its own ambitious Net Zero targets, the CEPA will provide an important mechanism for facilitating more investment and cooperation in this priority sector.”

His Excellency Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology said: “There are few countries that possess the industrial and technological knowhow of the Republic of Korea. Its emergence over the last three decades as a major global economy has been driven in large part by manufacturing exports, including machinery, consumer electronics, cars and automotive parts, which has helped propel its investment into the development of an unrivalled advanced technology ecosystem. The UAE is now fully committed to a similar development path, and a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Korea, which follows a series of MOUs on industrial and technological collaboration signed in January 2023, will enable our businesses, investors and entrepreneurs to engage with their counterparts, share knowledge and insights and drive a new era of growth based on innovation and creativity.”

H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy said: “The Republic of Korea is one of the major global economies, with a GDP exceeding US$1.7 trillion and a highly developed mix of industrial, technological and service capabilities. It is an ideal trade and investment partner for the UAE, one capable of supporting our efforts to diversify the national economy and our transition to a knowledge- and innovation-based new economy. In light of the objectives of the “We UAE 2031” vision. The UAE-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will create a wealth of opportunities for our private sector, from accelerated trade flows to investment and economic projects in key sectors such as new economy, logistics, transport, advanced technology and renewable energy. The latest CEPA underlines our ongoing efforts towards achieving sustainable economic development, and will also contribute to enhancing the growing significance of Asia on the global economic landscape.

Her Excellency Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, Minister of Climate Change and Environment said: “The Republic of Korea is one of the major champions of agri-tech and the ongoing transformation of food production systems. Their government is facilitating private-sector investment into this high-priority arena, which provides a number of exciting opportunities for partnership, collaboration and knowledge-sharing for our own agri-tech community, in turn helping to boost our food security ambitions. This will be one of the areas the new UAE-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will enable us to unlock, and we look forward to working with our counterparts to identify and mine all the opportunities this platform will create for both nations.”

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade said: “The United Arab Emirates is undergoing a profound economic transformation, driven by a combination of trade, talent and targeted investment into high-growth sectors. Our Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement program is essential to these ambitions, strengthening relations with key allies around the world and creating new opportunities for our exporters, investors and innovators. The UAE-Korea CEPA embodies our ambitions, offering greater integration with one of the 12 largest global economies and an industrial powerhouse. It will build on already robust ties, with non-oil bilateral trade valued at US$5.3 billion in 2023, which maintained the record levels set in 2022. The UAE is already Korea’s second-largest trade partner in the Arab World, accounting for 20 percent of Korean trade with the region, and we fully expect that figure to increase significantly in the years ahead.

“Importantly, this deal will also strengthen a major trade corridor and, by connecting opportunity right the way from Asia through Africa and into South America, drive the development of East-West supply chains.  It will create market opportunities for our exporters and manufacturers, and enable our logistics companies, freight-forwarders and wholesalers to play an increasingly central role in global trade. We also see the expansion of Korean investment into the UAE as we become an important gateway for its products into the high-potential markets of the Middle East and Africa.”

His Excellency Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE said: “The comprehensive partnership agreement meets the UAE's ambitions to solidify growth, deepen and accelerate the economic diversification journey by enhancing foreign trade, increasing foreign direct investments FDI, and strengthening relations in the financial, banking, and insurance sectors, particularly in the areas of innovation, advanced financial technology, and cross-border payment technologies.”

Ahmed Abdullah bin Lahej, Director General of the Federal Customs Authority said: “The UAE’s CEPA program is proving to be a powerful catalyst for foreign trade, boosting our non-oil foreign trade in both goods and services to record highs in 2023. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the Republic of Korea, an economy driven by the export of its high-quality manufacturing output, will only accelerate this extraordinary progress and create more opportunities in our own manufacturing, logistics and transport sectors. The UAE’s CEPA program is helping to enhance trade’s role in our national growth objectives and leverage the benefits our private sector can derive from our status as a global trade hub.”

His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority and member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council said: “The UAE-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement provides an important milestone to the nation’s foreign trade agenda, strengthening ties with one of the world’s most dynamic and technologically advanced economies.

This agreement will not only deliver a range of economic benefits, from increased trade to valuable knowledge exchange, but deepen our nation’s ties with an important partner in Asia, strengthening East-West supply chains and enhancing our role as a vital international trade hub.

The UAE’s CEPA program is an integral part of our nation’s diplomatic efforts to build our foreign relations on the basis of trust and cooperation, and in the interests of inclusive growth and long-term mutual benefit.”

His Excellency Abdulla Mohammed AlBasti, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai said: The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the UAE and South Korea reflects the directives of our leadership to expand investment opportunities and unlock promising business prospects for the private sector. This agreement reinforces the UAE's global position as an attractive hub for foreign direct investments, strategic partnerships, and a pivotal player in international trade”.

He added: “This agreement signifies a strategic milestone, fostering new avenues for economic, commercial, research, and technological collaboration with one of the world's most prominent economies, valued at $1.7 trillion in 2023. It will be welcomed by the business community as it helps link our investors to engage in high-potential projects that are crucial for promoting sustained growth. We eagerly anticipate the increased flow of goods and services between our ports and free zones, alongside new investments and collaborative endeavours that leverage the UAE’s strategic location at the crossroads of global trade routes”.

The Republic of Korea has achieved remarkable economic growth, with real gross domestic product (GDP) growing on average by 5.7% annually between 1980 and 2023.