MOSCOW, 2 June (BelTA) - A decision to start negotiations on a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union and the United Arab Emirates might be made by the end of this year, the press service of the Eurasian Economic Commission told BelTA following a videoconference meeting between Member of the Board (Minister) for Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission Andrey Slepnev and UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. The meeting focused on the state and prospects for the development of mutual trade relations between the EAEU and the UAE.
"I would like to reaffirm that we view the UAE as one of the most promising partners for cooperation," Andrey Slepnev said. He noted that in April the EEC Council passed a resolution to set up a joint group to study the feasibility of concluding a free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and the UAE. The parties suggested the group step up the work on a feasibility report. "This will enable us to consider starting negotiations at the end of the year, at the next summit of the EAEU," the press service emphasized.
"In general, we have a strong consensus on the development of cooperation with the UAE. The EAEU leaders reaffirmed their commitment to advancing cooperation during the summit in Bishkek last week," Andrey Slepnev added.
In 2021 the trade between of the EAEU with the UAE surged by 60.9% year-on-year reaching $6.3 billion. Imports approached $418 million (down by 6.8%), and exports totaled $5.9 billion (up by 69.4%).