The United Arab Emirates and Indonesia have signed a broad economic pact with the goal of increasing bilateral trade to more than $10 billion by 2030.
According to a statement from Indonesia’s trade ministry, the deal will increase exports to the UAE by 54 percent over the next ten years by eliminating approximately 94 percent of existing tariffs.
Since announcing a strategy to deepen its economic ties in 2021, the UAE has signed three sizable trade agreements, the Indonesia agreement being the third. Similar agreements, which eliminate or significantly reduce tariffs on goods, were signed this year with Israel and India.
The UAE, the Middle East’s finance and tourism hub, is expanding its trade ties in Asia and Africa’s fast-growing economies. As regional competition heats up, it wants to reinvent itself as a global hub for business and finance.
According to Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE’s minister of state for foreign trade, the Indonesia agreement aims to maintain momentum in fast trade growth.
Bilateral trade is expected to grow to $4 billion in 2022 and about 50,000 jobs are expected to be created, with an emphasis on skilled work.
With an estimated Muslim population of 80%, Indonesia has the world’s largest domestic halal economy market. Domestic spending on halal products and services was $184 billion in 2020, with the country’s central bank projecting a nearly 15% increase by 2025.
According to Al Zeyoudi, the UAE hopes to complete a similar trade agreement with Colombia soon.