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Turkey eliminates duty on agricultural imports from UAE

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Turkey will waive duty on agricultural imports from the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) up to designated quotas as part of an agreement signed between the two countries earlier this year, local media reported on Thursday.

According to a presidential decree published in the Official Gazette on Thursday, imports from the UAE such as chicken, eggs, vegetables, legumes, oils and milk will be exempt from duty subject to quotas ranging between 50 and 40,000 tons.

The duty exemption is being implemented within the scope the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement signed between Turkey and the UAE on March 3.

The pact aims to eliminate or reduce duty on 82 percent of products, accounting for more than 93 percent of non-oil trade, and increase bilateral trade to $40 billion annually within five years.

Non-oil exchanges between the two countries reached $19 billion last year, up 40 percent from the previous year and 112 percent from 2020.

Turkey and the UAE have backed opposing sides in regional conflicts and have sparred over issues including gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

But since 2021 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sought to improve ties with regional rivals in the face of an increasing diplomatic isolation that has caused foreign investment to dry up, particularly from the West.

Early last year Erdoğan made his first visit to the UAE in nearly a decade and called on business leaders to invest in his country.

The Turkish leader’s UAE trip followed Sheikh Mohammed’s rare visit to Ankara in November 2021. The UAE then announced a $10 billion fund for investments in Turkey.

Erdoğan also visited the UAE in the final leg of a Gulf trip aimed at drumming up investments in July. The tour included stops in Qatar and Saudi Arabia and saw Erdoğan preside over the signing of lucrative deals to boost the ailing Turkish economy.

The Emirates sees Turkey as a route to new markets.

The UAE spearheaded regional relief efforts after a Feb. 6 earthquake that struck southeastern Turkey, killing tens of thousands and causing an estimated $34 billion in damage.

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