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UAE, Saudi Arabia sign deal to ease trade
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UAE, Saudi Arabia sign deal to ease trade

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have signed an authorised economic operator (AEO) agreement aiming to improve the customs cooperation between the two countries and facilitate trade.

The move comes in implementation of the outcomes of the Al Azm Retreat, approved by the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council, reported Emirates news agency Wam.

The agreement was signed in Riyadh by Ali Saeed Mattar Al Niyadi, customs commissioner and chairman of the Federal Customs Authority, and Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Haqbany, Governor of the General Customs Authority.

Al Niyadi stated that the signing of the agreement is in implementation of the directives of their leaderships to reinforce their economic cooperation and promote trade.

“We are witnessing the actual implementation of the outcomes of the retreat, which were approved and adopted by the council. Today’s signing is a joint acknowledgement of our AEOs,” he said.

He added that the agreement will provide many advantages for both countries, including increasing their commercial exchange and reducing export and import costs while noting that their customs relations are witnessing significant development.

The customs authorities of both countries aim to exchange the best customs practices and expertise, overcome their joint challenges and encourage the participation of the private sector in customs operations, he further added while explaining that Saudi Arabia is a leading commercial and strategic partner of the UAE.

The total value of non-oil trade between the UAE and Saudi Arabia amounted to Dh107.4 billion ($29.4 billion) in 2018 while the value of imports from Saudi Arabia to the UAE amounted to Dh27.8 billion ($7.6 billion). During the same year, Emirati exports to Saudi Arabia reached a value of Dh31.5 billion ($8.6 billion) and its re-exports reached Dh48.1 billion ($13.2 million).

The AEO agreement represents progress in the customs relations between the two countries, will facilitate customs clearance procedures, and reinforce customs security. The AEO operates as a federal programme in the UAE, connecting it with other countries in the areas of trade and customs.