ABU DHABI, 29th October, 2018 (WAM) — Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Shehhi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Economic Affairs, discussed, with a delegation from the European Parliament, ways of promoting the overall partnership between the UAE and European countries and enlarging the scope of their cooperation, especially in economic and trade areas.
During his meeting with a delegation representing the Arab Peninsula Committee, chaired by Michele Alliot-Marie, Former French Minister of Defence and Member of Parliament for the European People’s Party, Al Shehhi stressed that the bilateral ties between the UAE and European countries are strong and are based on mutual respect and overall cooperation on international and regional issues, including in various economic areas, as European Union, EU, countries are among the key economic, commercial and investment partners of the UAE.
He added that the recent years witnessed significant growth in the bilateral ties between the two sides, especially since the EU’s decision to exempt UAE nationals from Schengen visa requirements, which have helped to promote tourism and scientific and cultural exchange, as well as mutual commercial and investment activities.
Al Shehhi further added that the UAE is a key commercial partner of the EU, as it occupied the 15th position in the list of its key international partners, as well as its ninth leading international partner and leading Arab partner while stressing that the UAE is also a key importer from the EU and is the 34th largest international exporter. Around 31 percent of foreign direct investments, FDI, in the UAE are from the EU, which are nearly US$37 billion while Emirati FDIs in the EU were valued at $42 billion at the end of 2016, he noted.
During the meeting, both sides discussed ways of promoting cooperation and exchanging expertise, especially in the water sector, including advanced solutions and innovative technologies to rationalise, re-use and distribute water, to fulfil the needs of the people, protect the environment, and help develop vertical farming, which is one of the UAE’s expertise.
Alliot-Marie praised the economic diversity and development efforts of the UAE, highlighting the EU’s desire to cooperate with the UAE in all areas, as well as to promote dialogue, exchange expertise, and establish new partnerships, especially in the areas of water, solar energy, environmental development, women’s empowerment and human resources.