United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al Zeyoudi
United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al Zeyoudi Reuters

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Costa Rica have signed a joint statement confirming the end of their negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The statement, signed by Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE's minister of state for foreign trade, and his Costa Rican counterpart, Manuel Tovar, will allow both countries to eliminate or lower tariffs, reduce trade barriers, promote private-sector collaboration and create pathways for investment.

"The UAE and Costa Rica are both nations that see the immense benefits of open trade and the opportunities for further economic collaboration in key sectors such as tourism, renewable energy, food security, ICT and manufacturing," Al Zeyoudi said, as per WAM.

He praised Costa Rica for being one of the most promising, investment-friendly economies in Latin America, adding that the Middle Eastern country is looking forward to building on their positive relationship to accelerate trade flows and establish platforms for investment and joint ventures.

"We are both committed to developing resilient, future-proof and sustainable economies and this partnership will enable us to support each other's efforts," he added.

Tovar, on the other hand, expressed his satisfaction and pride in concluding the negotiation with the UAE, saying, "A CEPA with the United Arab Emirates marks a milestone for Costa Rica, as it is the first time that Costa Rica has signed an agreement with a Middle Eastern and Gulf country."

"I am certain that the future entry into force of the CEPA will consolidate the relationship between Costa Rica and the UAE, a long-standing partner and friend, as it would expand and diversify opportunities for our exportable supply and for consumers and producers, provide legal certainty for trade and investment activities and promote economic cooperation among our countries," he added.

The UAE launched the CEPA program in 2021, and so far, the Middle Eastern country has concluded deals with nations like India, Indonesia, Israel, Türkiye, South Korea, Cambodia, Colombia, Georgia, Mauritius and Congo-Brazzaville.

Considering the non-oil trade between the UAE and Costa Rica, it has been growing consistently every year. In 2022, the trade witnessed a 23% hike, reaching $60.4 million. This number was double compared to that of 2018.