CEPA Agreements Propel UAE's Economic Growth | Kanebridge News
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CEPA Agreements Propel UAE’s Economic Growth

The UAE has seen an increase, in foreign direct investment (FDI) thanks to its Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPAs) with various global partners.

Fri, May 10, 2024 5:00pmGrey Clock 2 min

Massimo Falcioni, Chief Competitiveness Officer (CCO) at Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) highlighted the importance of these agreements during the AIM Congress at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Falcioni compared CEPAs to “highways” that facilitate trade of goods and services between participating nations.

Massimo Falcioni, Chief Competitiveness Officer (CCO) at Abu Dhabi Investment Office

Broadening Market Access through CEPA

These CEPA initiatives serve as a gateway for businesses offering them market opportunities and streamlining trade processes by reducing barriers, simplifying customs procedures, and improving logistics.

Since their launch in 2021, the UAE has established CEPA partnerships with countries such, as India, Israel, Indonesia, Turkey, Cambodia, Georgia, Costa Rica, and Columbia. The agreements with the first five countries in this list are fully operational and negotiations with many other countries across the world are progressing.

Looking back on the dynamics of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) the United Nations Council on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) World Investment Report 2023 highlighted that in 2022 FDI flowing into the UAE amounted to $22.737 billion showing a 10% increase and positioning the UAE as the highest recipient of FDI globally.

The UAE was ranked first in the West Asia region since it received 47.1% of the total FDI inflows to the region, amounting to $48.3bn. It was also ranked first in the MENA region as it accounted for 32.4% of the total FDI inflows to the region, amounting to $70.2bn.

Furthermore, Falcioni emphasized the location of the UAE as the intersection of three continents, Asia, Africa and Europe, with well-established aviation and port infrastructure.

They focus more on greenfield investments that drive growth by creating jobs and developing infrastructure. The ADIO provides incentives like land rates and assistance in accessing finance to support projects.

Apart from greenfield initiatives Falcioni also mentioned the growing significance of the UAE’s economy as a driver of growth. The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) serves as a center attracting fintech companies and offering platforms for financial access. The government is actively fostering an environment to innovation across sectors like e-commerce and e-sports with an interest in attracting foreign talent and investments.

The UAE is prioritising investments in Industry 4.0 and 5.0, focusing on automation, robotics, and enhanced productivity.

Working closely with Abu Dhabis Department of Economic Development the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) is actively collaborating with businesses to facilitate this transition.

The ongoing transformation involves increasing automation and digitalization to enhance productivity and boost competitiveness. Together these initiatives are positioning the UAE as a hub, for investment as stated by Falcioni.


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Saudi Arabia’s 2024 Summer TOURISM Plans Unveils New Incentives and Global Attractions

“Saudi Summer is Next Door” plans to boost tourism in the Kingdom over four months across seven destinations.

Wed, May 22, 2024 4 min

Saudi Arabia has unveiled its plan to attract international tourists this summer. The strategy includes appealing visa options, complimentary airline tickets for families, a lineup of major events, and opportunities for tax-free shopping.

The initiative, organized under the guidance of Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), is named “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”


Extensive Summer 2024 Tourism Activities

The initiative will span four months, ending in September, and will be hosted across seven key destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea, Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla.

It features over 550 tourism products and more than 150 specially tailored offers and packages for families and various interest groups including adventure enthusiasts, luxury seekers, and cultural and heritage buffs.

The launch event of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 was attended by notable figures such as Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, in addition to more than 250 key partners from both public and private sectors, prominent media personalities, and influential opinion leaders.

Showcasing Global Events and Cultural Richness

This year’s program will also welcome back the Jeddah Season and introduce the Aseer Season, each filled with various activities and events for families. The Kingdom will host several significant events as part of the summer program, including the first Esports World Cup in Riyadh, an eight-week competition featuring top esports athletes, and various boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

During the event, Al Khateeb highlighted the latest global tourism trends, the Kingdom’s growth in the tourism sector, and the record-high tourist numbers that have propelled Saudi Arabia to the top of the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

Al Baha

Al Khateeb emphasized, “Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Program 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers. “We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations and take advantage of the exceptional offers and packages designed to create unforgettable memories. “This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe to explore and enjoy the vibrant experiences that await them this summer.”

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, also remarked, “Saudi tourism is witnessing unparalleled development at all levels, achieving great leaps in recent years, which I witnessed during my multiple visits to this hospitable country.”


“Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

“All of these great achievements for Saudi tourism would not have been possible without proper planning by those in charge of the sector in the Kingdom and the great potential it possesses in terms of diverse climates, stunning natural landmarks, and the generosity of Saudi people who are distinguished by their hospitality, raising the ceiling of ambitions for new achievements.”

STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said: “While temperatures in the region rise to high levels during summer, temperatures in the highlands of Saudi Arabia in the southern region decrease to the extent that we even witnessed snowfall in Al Soudah yesterday.” “Through the promotional campaign for the Saudi Summer Program 2024, we seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations and their climatic, natural, and cultural diversity, along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer. “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners, which include attractive offers from hotels, airlines offering free tickets for children in partnership with major travel, tourism, and aviation companies, and exceptional products in the Aseer Season and Jeddah Season like tax-free shopping offers and many new and exciting experiences such as private beaches for tourists and ladies’ beaches.”

“The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” embodies an open invitation to explore the magic of Saudi destinations and their diversity. This diversity is expressed with simple words that reflect the uniqueness of each destination, such as “Closer,” “Cooler,” “More Beautiful,” and “More Affordable.”

The private sector is a very important component of the success of tourism programs and initiatives, and the Saudi Tourism Authority is committed to empowering it by fostering demand for products and offers that align with the aspirations of tourists globally.

The launch of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 marks a period when visiting the Kingdom has become easier, smoother, and safer through measures such as the availability of the eVisa to citizens of 66 countries, a 20 percent reduction in eVisa prices, and a significant increase in the number of weekly flights from

Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations, now totaling 1,100.

Residents of the GCC can also benefit from the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in the Kingdom over a year. Moreover, the number of hotel rooms available to travelers is set to increase, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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