WEEKLY BUSINESS ROUNDUP - 8th October 2023 to 14th October 2023

October 16, 2023
WEEKLY BUSINESS ROUNDUP - 8th October 2023 to 14th October 2023
Africa’s total exports expected to hit close to USD1 trillion by 2035
As per the Future of Trade: Africa report Africa’s total exports are estimated to reach USD952 billion by 2035 and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), once fully implemented, has the potential to increase this figure by further 29%. Driven by rising regional trade levels and enhanced connectivity intra-Africa trade is expected to reach USD140bn by 2035, equating to 15% of Africa’s total exports. 
UAE participates in final meeting of G20 Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors
The UAE Ministry of Finance participated in the fourth and final G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting under the Indian Presidency, which took place on the sidelines of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund annual meetings in Marrakech. The fourth meeting discusses on Finance Track priorities including global financial stability, sustainable economic growth, the macroeconomic risks of climate change and the roadmap to mitigating the macroeconomic and financial stability risks linked to crypto-asset activities and markets, among other priorities. As per the G20 Finance Track meetings for 2023, the UAE Ministry participated in all 34 meetings this year and presented 39 case studies to the G20.
Key UAE and US officials advance bilateral trade and investment ties
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade met the United States Secretary of Commerce as both nations continue to advance bilateral trade and investment ties. Driven by growing non-oil trade between the two nations - which reached US$21.63 billion in the first half of 2023 – UAE and US held the meeting - to explore ways to accelerate cooperation in priority sectors such as clean energy, sustainable industrial development, and advanced technology. In November 2022, UAE and US signed the Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy, a US$100 billion investment program that will generate 100 gigawatts of clean energy by 2035.
UAE close to signing six new CEPAs by end of 2023
The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi announced that UAE is almost finalizing several new comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPA), with South Korea, Thailand, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ukraine. The signing of the six new CEPAs is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. UAE is also in talks with Georgia regarding the comprehensive partnership agreement (CEPA) owing to Georgia’s strategic location and the strong growth rates achieved in the past three years, that reached 10% in 2022.
UAE economy emerges robust with constant contributions from non-oil sector
As per OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) for October 2023, the UAE’s economy stays robust with consistent contributions from the non-oil sector, especially tourism, leisure, and real estate. It is estimated UAE’s tourism sector witnessed robust rebound and the number of visitors to Dubai rose by 19% y-o-y in H1-23. S&P Global United Arab Emirates PMI further reflects this optimism as it rose to 56.7 from 55 in September 2023. Growth prospects in UAE’s non-oil GDP are expected to build continued momentum, supported by increased business confidence, government reforms and expansion in household spending. 
UAE and Republic of Korea conclude CEPA negotiations
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Dukgeun Ahn, Minister of Trade for the Republic of Korea concluded the CEPA negotiations between both nations to initiate a new chapter of economic cooperation. CEPA between UAE and Korea will strengthen East-West supply chains, facilitate two-way FDI flows, and enhance joint research and knowledge exchange across a range of sectors, including energy, advanced manufacturing, technology, food security and healthcare.
Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy unveils ‘Launchpad Dubai’ platform
Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy geared up to welcome innovative entrepreneurs, influential investors, and global business leaders to Expand North Star, the world’s largest gathering for startups. The Expand North Star event introduces Launchpad Dubai, a platform aimed at accelerating the expansion of global tech companies in Dubai including start-ups, fast-growing start-up and billionaire unicorns. The ‘Launchpad Dubai’ initiative offers easy access to visa applications, banking and judicial services, housing, talent, and other essential services required to set up a new company through a single convenient platform.
Dubai economy grows 3.2% in H1 2023
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, hailed the strong performance of Dubai’s economy in the first half of 2023 marking 3.2% growth in H1 2023, compared to the same period last year, the economy’s total value has reached AED223.8 billion. Sectors like transportation, wholesale & retail trade, financial and insurance, real estate, information and communication and manufacturing are key drivers in Dubai’s positive economic performance.
Abu Dhabi unites regulators to steer future of smart and autonomous vehicle operations
Abu Dhabi is uniting key local regulatory authorities to expand the enabling regulatory framework to streamline applications across air, land, and sea. Following the launch of its global cluster for Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI), the emirate is working with 4 regulators to establish an enabling environment for SAVI applications. Comprehensive, growth-enabling regulatory support will be a key factor in attracting key global players and promoting the adoption of future smart and autonomous applications in the UAE and beyond.