Trade Agreement

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The UAE Free Trade Agreement negotiation council held a meeting yesterday in Abu Dhabi to discuss preparations for the first round of negotiations with the United States to be held next week. The meeting with the council's sub-teams was co-chaired by Dr Mohammad Khalfan Bin Kharbash, UAE Minister of State for Finance and Industry, and Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy and Planning. "The aim of this meeting was to unify the UAE's position on various trade-related matters for the forthcoming rounds of negotiations with the US," said Dr Kharbash. "The UAE's position on these matters has come about as a direct result of discussions held between the negotiation sub-teams and both the public and the private sectors." He said all recommendations of both the public and private sectors and the consultants appointed to support the UAE negotiating initiative were put forward at the meeting, ensuring that all sectors affected by the agreement were properly heard. Dr Kharbash stressed the council's sub-teams will hold intensive meetings and negotiations with other sectors in the country after the end of the first round of negotiations with the US, where they will be able to discuss the outcome and express their opinions. "The signing of the Free Trade Agreement has become an essential step for those aiming to expand their markets. The FTA with the US will enable the UAE to compete in international markets and benefit from the transfer of modern technology and expertise that support the improvement of our services and products," said Shaikha Lubna. "Thanks to our open economic policy, the UAE has been able to attract huge investments and international companies to operate within our shores. We work relentlessly to develop the investment environment to make the UAE the first choice for investors from around the world." She added that the economic partnership with the US is based on many years of strong bilateral relations, during which both countries developed an interest in expanding their trade relations.

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