Malaysia Targets UAE's Tech, Clean Energy Sectors As Free Trade Talks Progress


As the two countries continue their discussions on a free trade agreement, Malaysia's foreign trade minister stated that the Southeast Asian country seeks more economic relations with the UAE, particularly in the ICT and renewable energy sectors. During a visit to Kuala Lumpur by a ministerial delegation from the UAE led by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, the UAE and Malaysia decided to start negotiations in May.

The agreement's terms of reference were completed and signed last month, according to Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Malaysia's minister of international trade and industry.

“The ongoing negotiation for the Malaysia-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement holds immense potential for both nations. By fostering deeper economic integration, the CEPA can unleash a wave of trade and investment opportunities that will propel growth and innovation,” he said.

“Through reduced trade barriers, streamlined regulations and enhanced market access, Malaysian businesses can expand their reach and diversify their revenue streams by tapping into the UAE’s thriving sectors such as advanced technology, renewable energy and tourism.”

While Malaysia is transitioning from a traditional fossil fuel-based economy to a high-value green economy and expects to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the UAE is one of the world leaders in creating energy transition solutions. The first stage of Kuala Lumpur's national energy transition road map was introduced in July in an effort to hasten the process.

Aziz expressed hope that the CEPA framework will spur a rise in foreign direct investment, boosting Malaysian small and medium-sized firms, which make up around 90% of the nation's businesses.

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