ABU DHABI, 28th September, 2023 (WAM) -- Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, held talks with Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry for Malaysia, in Abu Dhabi to pursue deeper trade and investment ties. The meeting was part of a visit to the UAE by a delegation of Malaysia's leading trade officials.
During the discussions, Al Zeyoudi commended the strong relations between the two countries and reaffirmed the UAE's commitment to enhance trade cooperation and develop opportunities for the business communities of both sides.
The two sides also reviewed the progress of the negotiations towards a UAE-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which was launched during a visit to Kuala Lumpur by H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, in May 2023.
This is the second meeting between the two trade ministers since CEPA negotiations began, the first of which took place in Jakarta at the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit earlier this month, reflecting the deepening relationship between the UAE and Malaysia and the wider ASEAN bloc.
Dr. Al Zeyoudi said, "Malaysia is a valued partner for the UAE in an increasingly important region, one which shares our vision of leveraging global trade to accelerate growth and diversify the economy. The meeting with the Malaysian delegation provided an important opportunity to explore the sectors with maximum potential for our respective private sectors, and to build consensus on issues impacting global trade ahead of MC13 in Abu Dhabi in February next year.
"Malaysia's support for open, rules-based trade, transparent dispute resolution mechanisms and a greater voice for the developing world in trade policy will help deliver a conference of lasting impact."
Tengku Zafrul Aziz, in turn, said," We are keen to bolster our ties with the UAE, a nation that continues to gain importance as a strategic trading partner for Malaysia. Situated at the crossroads between East and West, the UAE offers immense opportunities for our exporters and their efforts to expand into global markets. Valuing UAE's commitment to ensuring sustainability, Malaysia hopes to be the strategic partner for the UAE in this area, and we look forward to working together to ensure this relationship will deliver long-term and mutually beneficial rewards."
Both ministers welcomed the most recent growth in non-oil bilateral trade, which was more than US$ 2.226 billion during the first half of 2023. Today, the UAE is Malaysia's second-largest trading partner in the Middle East, accounting for 32 percent of its total trade with Arab countries, while Malaysia ranks eighth Non Arab Asia Country for UAE exports and 19th in re-exports.
The two sides also expressed their intention to increase investments to build on the US$370 million in combined FDI.