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UAE eyes South-east Asia for bilateral trade, investment relations

Staff Report (business@khaleejtimes.com)
Filed on February 24, 2014

The high-ranking delegation includes ministerial representatives, local and federal authority officials, C-suite executives from private sector organisations, and a number of UAE national businessmen and investors.

Country keen to take relationship with Philippines and Malaysia to next level

An economic and commercial delegation headed by UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri is set to visit the Philippines and Malaysia from February 24-28 to explore strategies for enhancing bilateral trade and investment relations.

The high-ranking delegation includes ministerial representatives, local and federal authority officials, C-suite executives from private sector organisations, and a number of UAE national businessmen and investors.

During the five-day visit, the UAE delegation will meet with senior members of the economic and business community in the Philippines and Malaysia. The bilateral talks will address the potential for exchange of investments and the establishment of joint ventures that leverage the UAE’s global economic position.

In addition, the delegation will seek to identify areas of co-operation in innovation and the creation of knowledge economies, especially with Malaysia that holds significant experience in the area.

“Our visit to the Philippines and Malaysia reflects the UAE’s keenness to take the relationship we share with the two countries to the next level. The UAE currently enjoys good relationships with both the Philippines and Malaysia. However, there is huge potential for growing this synergy,” Al Mansouri said.

“There are several untapped areas that need to be explored and identified for consolidating the alliance we share. As part of this priority, we will particularly seek to enhance bilateral relations in emerging sectors that are of mutual benefit. In addition, we will aim to strengthen the presence of the UAE in the Southeast Asia region. Given our country’s strong regional and international status, we will look to forge lucrative economic, commercial and investment partnerships besides attracting industry expertise and skilled manpower,” he explained.

The UAE’s delegation includes Abdullah Ahmad Alsaleh, undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy; Khalfan Saeed Juma Al Kaabi, first vice-chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Exports; and Obaid Saeed Al Dhaheri, vice-president for international affairs at Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge Petrochemicals).

The UAE and the Republic of the Philippines are linked by a number of bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding. A key milestone in the relations was achieved in 2003 when an agreement to avoid double taxation on income was signed between the two countries. The agreement was implemented a year later for a period of five years, subject to renewal. More recently, imports from the Philippines to the UAE stood at $262.3 million in 2012, while the UAE’s total exports to the Philippines totalled more than $100 million during the same period.

The UAE and Malaysia also continue to enjoy a mutually beneficial alliance having inked several bilateral agreements, the first of which was the economic and technical cooperation forged in 1975. Since then, the UAE’s trade relations with Malaysia have registered sustained growth, with imports from Malaysia to the UAE increasing to $376 million in 2012, and the UAE’s exports to Malaysia amounting to over $309 million for the same year.

UAE, Spain see rise in trade growth

abu dhabi — The relations between the UAE and the Spain have been witnessing remarkable growth given huge potentials for upgrading the existing cooperation, especially in the areas of economy, trade and investment, Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy has said.

While receiving Jaime Garcia, Spanish Secretary of State for Trade, here in his office, Al Mansouri, said: “The UAE is a bridge linking Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, while Spain links between Europe and Latin America, adding that the cooperation between the two countries is a prelude to greater economic cooperation between the two regions interested in boosting the flow of investments and bolstering of the trade ties.”

During the meeting, Al Mansouri and Garcia discussed ways to increase the trade exchange between the two countries and cooperation in the main sectors such as small and medium enterprises, industry and renewable energy. They also discussed the role of business community in two countries to open more horizons for bilateral cooperation.

Al Mansouri noted that the economic ties between the UAE and Spain grew over the last years in a way that reflected on the trade exchange between the two countries, which surged by 75 per cent over three years from Dh4.7 billion in 2009 to Dh8 billion in 2012. These figures are expected to rise through establishing new partnerships and exploiting untapped investment opportunities.

He added that there were agreements signed between the two countries, notably, Avoiding of Double Taxation Agreement, calling for activating the signed agreements to bolster the economic ties. Al Mansouri said Spain has huge capacities that the UAE could benefit from.

The UAE minister said the UAE is a main trade partner for the Kingdom of Spain in the Gulf region. Al Mansouri referred to the constructive cooperation between the two countries, citing “Gemasolar Thermosolar Plant, a vital joint project between Masdar and the Spanish Sener Engineering and Construction Company.

Wam


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