| | OCTOBER 20239IN FOCUSUAE TARGETS FREE TRADE DEALS WITH 6 MORE NATIONSThe UAE targets to negotiate free trade arrangements with six additional countries by the end of 2023, according to a senior government official. According to Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, the UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the UAE is close to finalizing comprehensive economic cooperation agreements with South Korea, Thailand, and Chile. The minister also told the Emirates News Agency, or WAM, the UAE would look to reach deals with Costa Rica, Columbia and Ukraine.In recent months, there have been talks with Pakistan, Serbia and Malaysia as the Gulf country seeks to broaden its export market. Al-Zeyoudi made the comments on the sidelines of a free trade agreement signed by the UAE and Georgia, potentially doubling non-oil trade to $1.5 billion from $481 million in five years, as per arab news. The Gulf country's Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili presided over the signing ceremony remotely. The new agreement builds on the UAE-Georgia economic relationship, which has led in non-oil trade exceeding $225 million in the first half of 2023, with a 28 percent increase in the first half of 2022. Total bilateral non-oil trade reached $481 million in 2022, increasing 115 percent from 2021. The UAE currently accounts for more than 63 percent of Georgia's Arab-country commerce. The latest trade agreement, which intends to abolish or cut tariffs on 95 percent of product lines, is likely to have a considerable influence on the two nations' non-oil commerce.
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