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CEPA between UAE and Philippines nears finish line

From L to R: Usec. Margaux Marie Salcedo, Dept. of Budget and Management; Hon. Alfondo Ver, PH Ambassador to the UAE; and Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila Jr., Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Philippines have taken significant steps towards finalizing a Comprehensive and Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), according to officials on Tuesday.

Both nations had agreed to commence discussions on this deal in February of the previous year, aiming to bolster investment flows, eliminate trade barriers, and create fresh business prospects. This progress comes as the UAE ranked as the 17th major trading partner for the Philippines in 2022.

Read: Philippine Economic team encourages Middle East entrepreneurs to invest in infrastructure and energy

Alfonso Ferdinand Ver, the Philippines’ ambassador to the UAE, remarked, “Yesterday, we met with Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and he reiterated the need to speed up the Cepa. We were one of the first countries to be offered Cepa, and yesterday the UAE side said that they will provide the draft template, and if it’s approved, that will expedite everything.”

Read: Philippines, UAE seek to advance trade, investment relations

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He continued, “Personally, I’d like to have a grand signing ceremony, maybe coincide with COP, but I suggested not waiting for any occasion. As long as it’s ready, please sign it. It’s going to open up more opportunities, complementing all other efforts. Before that, we signed the investment protection and promotion agreements, it’s all a chronological process, leading to more incentives and making the Philippines more attractive for investors,” he concluded.

Read: OFWs to access dollar retail bonds as Philippines eyes 2024 launch of Islamic bonds

Justin Aguilar

Justin is a Senior Assistant Editor and Content Producer at The Filipino Times. She was a TV News Reporter for ABS-CBN News, where she covered news stories and reports for TV and radio programs such as ANC, TV Patrol World, Umagang Kay Ganda, Bandila, and DZMM Teleradyo. She enjoys capturing people’s hearts by highlighting the excellence of Filipinos in her stories and bringing the latest updates to both OFWs and global readers of The Filipino Times. Want to share your story? Reach Justin on Facebook: or send your story at: [email protected]

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