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Ukraine agrees on comprehensive economic partnership with UAE: What it means

Ukraine agrees on comprehensive economic partnership with UAE: What it means Photo: Ukraine has agreed on a comprehensive economic partnership with the UAE (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates signed a Joint Statement on the completion of negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement. This may increase Ukraine's GDP by 0.1%, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Economy.

The statement was signed by First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yulia Svyrydenko and Minister of State for Foreign Trade of the UAE Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi.

“This is the first agreement in the most economically advanced region of the Middle East. It covers not only the United Arab Emirates but the entire Gulf region. That is, this is not only access to the Emirates market but also access to the global market. The Emirates is a trade, economic, and financial hub. The Emirates are at the top in terms of trade logistics,” Svyrydenko says.

According to her, this is not a classic free trade agreement, it is comprehensive, that is, it includes goods, services, investments, digital trade, and more.

After signing the statement, the parties will begin legal verification of the draft agreement to be signed by the governments.

Agreement impact on trade

According to the Ministry of Economy, in the medium and long term, the agreement may shift the trajectory of real GDP development by 0.10%.

The expected result of the agreement is an increase in exports of metals and vegetable oil from Ukraine. Among the sectors, the highest growth rates are expected in the transportation sector, as well as in metallurgy, the food industry, in particular flour milling and oil production.

Preparing for deal

During the official visit of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the UAE in February 2021, investment memorandums and contracts worth $3 billion were signed.

In December 2022, the UAE and Ukraine announced their intention to start negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement, which should open up access to new markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East for Ukrainian agricultural and industrial products.