UAE immune to falling oil prices
Abu Dhabi - Diversification policies boost resilience: Suhail
The current slump in the world oil prices poses a real challenge to oil exporting countries but did not have any impact on the UAE's economy, thanks to the economic diversification policy adopted by the country, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, affirmed on Sunday.
"Low oil prices should create investment opportunities in non-oil sectors for the purpose of diversifying the economy," the minister said as he chaired the delegation to the second UAE-Russia Taskforce Meeting held in St Petersburg to explore the prospects of joint co-operation and investment. Abu Dhabi hosted the first meeting in November 2015.
Russian Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Alexander Tsybulskiy, led the Russian side to the meeting which also discussed a variety of economic and investment issues of mutual interest. The two sides stressed the importance of pursuing work to broaden the scope of regional joint co-operation and investment opportunities.
The UAE side gave an overview of the state of the UAE's economy, its strengths and enabling factors, legislative framework, infrastructure and services and investment incentives that the state offers to foreign investors. The Russian side reviewed a number of investment opportunities in the areas of economy, energy, industry, free zones, tourism, agriculture and higher education.
"We had constructive discussions with the Russian side which will enable us to go ahead on a number of bilateral issues of mutual concern regarding regional co-operation, mutual investment opportunities and economic co-operation," the UAE minister said.
Later, Al Mazrouei, in his capacity as Managing Director of the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), met Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller. He also held a briefing with Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling and OMV Chief Executive Officer Rainer Seele to announce the conclusion of a series of economic and investment agreements. These agreements included a memorandum of understanding for swap of upstream assets between Austria's OMV, 24.8 percent owned by IPIC, Gazprom, which is owned 50 per cent by the Russian government.
As per another agreement, Gazprom will supply crude oil to OMV. The two oil majors also signed an agreement for scientific and technical cooperation for gas production.