Geneva, 16 June 2022: H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, held bilateral meetings with the ministers of trade from several Arab, Asian, and African nations on the sidelines of the UAE delegation's participation in the World Trade Organization's 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12). H.E. led the UAE delegation to the conference, which took place recently in Geneva, Switzerland
Meetings were held with H.E. Dr Majid bin Abdullah Alkassabi, Minister of Commerce in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Hosoda Kenichi, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Gan Kim Yong, Singaporean Minister of Trade and Industry; and Mmusi Kgafela, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry of Botswana.
During the meetings, H.E. Bin Touq reaffirmed the UAE's desire to strengthen its ties with global partners and further develop and diversify the economic and trade relations with various promising regional and international markets. H.E. stated that, in line with its wise leadership's vision for the future, the UAE is adopting a new economic model that is more flexible, diverse, and connected to the global markets. This model is based on open and flexible trade policies that serve the country's future-oriented vision, consolidate its position as a leading hub for goods and services trade, and promote investments in the strategic and futuristic sectors in the region and around the world.
Furthermore, H.E. reviewed emerging partnership opportunities in the sectors that the UAE is focusing on, which are the digital economy, green development, and food security including agricultural technology, food industry, transportation, logistics, and supply chains. He also elaborated on the sectors that play important roles in building the future, such as fintech, renewable energy, applications of the fourth industrial revolution, and others that drive the development of the UAE economy of the future and form the basis of its partnerships with various countries from around the world.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
During H.E. Bin Touq's meeting with H.E. Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, the Minister of Commerce of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, both sides emphasized the profound UAE– Saudi relations that are reflected in shared visions and goals and the harmony between their people. Both countries, additionally, boast fundamental economic, commercial, and investment capabilities, along with a geographical location that is strategically located near various promising markets. The meeting further highlighted the significance of continuous efforts in promoting trade cooperation and diversification between the two countries in line with mutual visions and interests, as well as coordination with regards to the issues addressed by the WTO meeting. Dr Al Qasabi further confirmed KSA's support to the UAE's hosting of the next WTO Ministerial Conference.
The non-oil trade between the two countries exceeded USD 33 billion in 2021 with a 19 per cent growth compared to that of 2020.
During the meeting between H.E. Bin Touq and H.E. Koichi Hagiuda, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), both sides explored bilateral collaboration and development opportunities to advance the existing partnership, especially in priority sectors in the developmental agenda of both countries. These include renewable energy, advanced technology, digital economy and advanced industries.
H.E. Bin Touq further highlighted the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements that the country has signed, as well as economic and investment opportunities offered to investors by the UAE market. The Japanese side emphasized that the UAE is a favored destination to Japanese companies operating in the Middle East.
The trade between the two countries is witnessing continuous growth and totaled USD 13 billion in 2021, with a 22 per cent YoY growth.
H.E. Bin Touq's meeting with H.E. Gan Kim Yong, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry, saw the two ministers explore development opportunities for promoting economic and trade relations. The meeting further addressed the means of promoting partnerships in priority sectors related to digital economy, sustainability, and green economy, through which countries have made great achievements, holding the necessary requirements to promote their development.
Both ministers confirmed the significance of strengthening the relations between the two business communities by acquainting them with the incentives, facilities, and opportunities in each other's markets. The two sides agreed to continue holding the joint economic committee meetings as well as those of the UAE-Japan business council.
The UAE-Japan bilateral non-oil trade exceeded USD 4 billion in 2021, with a 23 per cent growth compared to the previous year.
The UAE Minister of Economy and H.E. Mmusi Kgafela, Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry of Botswana, discussed new opportunities for advancing existing trade and economic partnerships between the two countries. H.E. Bin Touq further confirmed the UAE's commitment to promoting its partnership within the African markets. He then highlighted the developmental initiatives adopted by the country for the next 50 years, as well as the comprehensive economic partnership agreements, and trade and economic policies that are set to enhance the openness of UAE market and attract investments and talents.
The two sides also delved deep into the available opportunities to diversify economic and trade collaboration in fields of shared interest, such as agriculture, food industry, and food security. The meeting further addressed the significance of collaboration in the field of transportation, specifically civil aviation.