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Australia-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

Australia-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is Australia’s largest trade and investment partner in the Middle East. With $5.7 billion in two-way trade in 2020-21 (over $11 billion pre-COVID), the UAE is Australia’s 19th largest export market globally for goods and services.

Australia’s main exports include aluminium oxide, meat (beef, sheep, and lamb), vehicle parts and accessories, and telecom equipment and parts. There are further opportunities for Australian business in the UAE in services, agriculture, education and tourism, particularly given the UAE’s position as a regional hub.

Australia and the UAE commenced negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in March 2005. These negotiations were subsumed into negotiations for an Australia-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) FTA in 2007. Australia and the GCC last met for negotiations in 2009.

Stakeholder consultation process

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is seeking submissions from interested stakeholders on the potential opportunities and impacts of a prospective CEPA with the UAE. DFAT is particularly interested in details of specific impediments to trade and investment an agreement could address. This information will inform the Australian Government’s approach to potential future negotiations.

All submissions will be treated as public and may be published on this website, unless the author specifically requests that the submission, or part thereof, be handled in confidence. Unless otherwise requested, DFAT will publish the submission and the name of the submitting organisation or individual on its website. DFAT will not edit submissions prior to publishing. All details that have been included in a submission, including contact information, will be available on the DFAT website.

Submitters may request that all, or part, of a submission be treated as confidential. Material supplied in-confidence should be clearly marked 'IN CONFIDENCE' and be provided in a separate attachment to non-confidential material.

By making a submission, the author(s) agree to their submission, or part thereof, being used by the Commonwealth of Australia for Commonwealth purposes.

Written submissions can be emailed to

DFAT is also seeking submissions to help inform the Australian Government’s approach to a potential future resumption of negotiations on an Australia-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Free Trade Agreement. Further information is available at Australia-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) FTA.

DFAT will continue to provide information and updates on this website. Requests for additional information can be made by email to

Submissions received [PDF]

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