The UAE has completed the final step in its application to become a Sectoral Dialogue Partner member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) group.
The UAE has signed the bloc's Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) at a ceremony at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Cambodia.
The treaty was signed on behalf of the UAE by Dr. Abdulnasser Alshaali, the Assistant Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC).
In his remarks, Alshaali highlighted the shared values and deep-rooted relations between the UAE and ASEAN member states.
"The signing of the TAC reflects the UAE's keenness to strengthen and advance economic relations with ASEAN countries," he added.
Alshaali said current global challenges demonstrate the increased importance of multilateral cooperation, especially within regional and international organisations such as ASEAN.
"As the UAE completes the final step in the process of obtaining SDP status, it is essential to underline the mutual benefits that this partnership will bring notably, the impetus it will provide to our joint efforts to address pressing issues at the regional and global levels, including climate change, food and energy security, and the sustainability of the healthcare sector," said Alshaali.
The UAE is set to benefit from the partnership in the fields of trade, investment, tourism, digital transformation, and healthcare.
Membership of ASEAN would support the UAE's broader goals of MoFAIC and the Principles of the 50 framework, in forging sustainable and effective partnerships with countries and multilateral organisations.
The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia was originally signed between founding ASEAN members: Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, and Laos.