According to Seoul’s trade ministry, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will begin formal talks on a bilateral free trade deal on Thursday. According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, Trade Minister Yeon Han-koo met with his UAE counterpart Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi in Dubai and released a joint statement calling for the formation of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). On top of market access, the CEPA is a sort of free trade agreement that promotes a greater scope of economic cooperation and exchanges.
“Under ‘the special strategic cooperation,’ the UAE is South Korea’s primary partner country, and the two countries have been cooperating closely on energy fields and responses to the COVID-19 epidemic,” Yeo added. “The CEPA is projected to increase transactions and investment in biotechnology, aircraft, hydrogen and renewable energy, and a variety of other industries.” As of 2020, South Korea’s trade volume with the UAE was $9.4 billion. The commerce ministry stated that it will begin the necessary domestic procedures to begin discussions with the UAE as soon as possible, however it did not specify a particular timeframe.