The UAE-Turkey Business Forum in Abu Dhabi marked a significant occasion, as it unveiled two major agreements aimed at propelling investment in key sectors within both nations’ economies. The forum’s primary focus was to strengthen economic partnership and stimulate investments between the UAE and Turkey by fostering cooperation between their respective business communities.
Notably, the forum occurred in conjunction with the momentous signing of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries in March 2023. The CEPA is set to come into force in September and coincided with the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the UAE, adding significance to the event. Distinguished attendees included Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, UAE Minister of Investment.
Throughout the forum, the most promising investment opportunities in the UAE were presented across diverse verticals and sectors, encompassing trade, technology, finance, insurance, transport and logistics, real estate, and manufacturing. As part of this initiative, Turkish companies were extended an invitation to leverage the advantageous business and trade environment offered by the UAE.
Two pivotal agreements were signed during the forum. The first agreement was inked between the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (Added) and the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), represented by Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, and Mustafa Gültepe, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TIM. The second agreement was forged between the UAE’s Alpha Dhabi Holding and the Turkish group Limak Holding, represented by Hamad Salem Al Ameri, Managing Director and CEO of Alpha Abu Dhabi Holding, and Ebru Özdemir, Chairman of Limak Holding.
The forum not only highlighted the numerous investment opportunities available in the UAE but also emphasized key factors contributing to the country’s attractiveness, such as the allowance of 100% foreign ownership of companies, flexible tax policies, streamlined procedures for establishing businesses, and access to products and goods from companies operating in the UAE at reduced duties and fees through Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements with strategic partners. Moreover, the Turkish business community was presented with the opportunity to participate in the NextGen initiative, which extends support services, including bulk visa issuance and banking assistance, to facilitate market entry into the UAE.
Notably, the forum took place amidst remarkable Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) results for the UAE, which surged to an impressive $23 billion by the end of 2022, representing a remarkable 10% growth over the previous year. Anticipation is high that the UAE-Turkey CEPA will further bolster trade between the two countries, which is already flourishing at record levels.
Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, enthusiastically described this period as a “golden era” for UAE-Turkey relations, citing recent data showing that total non-oil trade between the two nations reached $18 billion in 2022, reflecting an impressive 40% growth over 2021 and an astounding 112% increase compared to 2020, positioning Turkey as the UAE’s fastest-growing among its top 10 trading partners. Dr. Al Zeyoudi emphasized that the CEPA agreement, set to enter into force in September, would usher in a new era of economic integration between the two countries, generating more opportunities for the business communities in both nations and stimulating trade and investment flows across the region.