The 23-year-old Venezuelan took his first wins in the category with Addax last year, in his third full season in GP2.
Arden driver Luiz Razia was champion Davide Valsecchi's main rival in 2012.
After promising winter testing pace from Cecotto, Arden team boss Julian Rouse is confident he can be a title threat.
"He has shown great potential since he first joined the series three years ago and he has developed strongly with the current car and the Pirelli tyres," said Rouse.
"We had an excellent test together in Jerez, finishing both sessions at the top of the timesheets, which assured us of his talent on track and technical ability to work with the team.
"I am more than confident that if we work hard together we can go one better in the drivers' championship in 2013."
Cecotto added that he had gelled well with Arden at the Jerez test.
"We had the possibility to get to know each other in a test and straight away there was a great feeling between the engineers, mechanics and me," he said.
"I feel it was the right moment to sign so that we have plenty of time to prepare for the championship well.
"The target is definitely to win the championship and I'm sure that both the team and I have the potential to do so."
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