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What Are the Current Trade Agreements That Uae Is Part of


May 21, 2023

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country that has been undergoing a transformation from a traditional trading economy to a more diversified and technologically advanced one. As part of this transformation, the UAE has been engaging in various trade agreements with other countries to open up new markets and expand its economic reach. In this article, we will discuss what these current trade agreements that the UAE is part of, and what they mean for the country`s economy.

GCC Customs Union

The GCC Customs Union was established in 2015 between the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. This customs union aims to create a common market and facilitate the free movement of goods among these countries. It has eliminated most tariff barriers, although some non-tariff barriers still exist.

UAE-EFTA Free Trade Agreement

The UAE signed a Free Trade Agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in 2018 after three years of negotiations. The EFTA member states are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. This agreement aims to promote trade in goods and services, as well as increase investment flows between the UAE and EFTA countries. Under the agreement, around 200 products, including industrial and agricultural goods, are granted duty-free access to both markets.

UAE-Singapore Free Trade Agreement

The UAE and Singapore signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2013, which entered into force in 2014. This agreement aims to enhance trade and investment flows between the two countries by eliminating tariffs, non-tariff barriers, and opening up new market opportunities. It covers a wide range of sectors, including goods, services, investments, intellectual property, and government procurement.

UAE-India Bilateral Investment Treaty

The UAE and India signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty in 2013 to encourage and promote investments between the two countries. The treaty aims to protect investments and investors from both countries, and it provides a mechanism for settling investment disputes. It covers various sectors, including manufacturing, energy, and service industries.

UAE-China Strategic Partnership

The UAE and China established a strategic partnership in 2018 to enhance cooperation in various areas, including trade and investment. China is the UAE`s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching nearly $60 billion in 2019. The two countries have signed various agreements aimed at boosting trade and investment flows. For instance, in 2018, the UAE and China signed a currency swap agreement to facilitate trade and investment between the two countries.


The UAE has been engaging in various trade agreements with other countries to open up new markets and expand its economic reach. These agreements aim to facilitate the free movement of goods, services, and investments, eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers, and create new market opportunities. The UAE`s strategic location, well-developed infrastructure, and business-friendly environment make it an attractive destination for investors and businesses looking to expand their operations in the Middle East. As the UAE`s economy continues to diversify and grow, we can expect to see more trade agreements signed with other countries in the future.


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