UAE andUK to boost defence, energy ties

UAE andUK to boost defence, energy ties

ABU DHABI — The top corporate leaders of UAE and UK have finalised the cooperation mechanisms to further strengthen the ties in defense, security, energy, financial, infrastructure and education, said UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri.

By Haseeb Haider

Published: Tue 20 Sep 2011, 11:43 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 5:53 AM

Inaugurating the UAE–UK Joint Economic Committee Meeting in the capital, the minister said that his nation seeks ‘ever closer economic and cultural links’ with the United Kingdom.

“I hope both nations would have stronger trade partnerships and mutually beneficial investments that could boost the bilateral trade by 20 per cent to £12 billion in 2015,” Al Mansouri said.

“We are on track to reach that target, and are continually finding new ways to facilitate and stimulate business between our countries,” he said.

As many as 20 top business executives from the public and private sector, met in Abu Dhabi at the UAE-UK CEO Forum, ahead of the Ministerial meeting to lay a road map to boost trade, investments and economic cooperation, taking the already warm bilateral relations to the next level.

Al Mansouri said in the past two years, the UK’s Department Trade and Industry (UKTI) has supported 2,500 companies seeking a foothold in the country. “These companies have attended more than 100 trade shows here in the UAE,” he said.

Over the past two years, this strategic cooperation has contributed in developing UAE’s SME sector, which, accounting for 90 per cent of economic activity, is the backbone of our economy, he said.

The UKTI has been working with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development to help it develop its own version of the UK’s “passport to export” programme for SMEs. “If successful, this could be rolled out across the UAE,” the minister said.

Al Mansouri said the UKTI cooperated with the Ministry of Economy in the evaluation of its new SME legislation and support offering and developing and encouraging the next generation of business leaders.

The UKTI’s global entrepreneur programme has signed an MoU with both the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Masdar with the aim of creating high profit sustainable global companies from pioneering start-ups.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-12 issued by the World Economic Forum, ranked the UAE 27th globally for competitiveness. “Perhaps more important than our ranking, the report classifies the UAE as an innovation-driven economy. This is the highest stage of economic development that a country can achieve,” Al Mansoori said.

Wam adds: Meanwhile, General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received at Al Bateen Palace the UK-UAE CEO Forum members including the UK Trade and Investment Minister Lord Stephen Green, Nasser bin Ahmed Al Suwaidi, head of the Economic Development Department in Abu Dhabi, senior businesspersons and investors.

Shaikh Mohammed welcomed the audience, stressing the strength of relations between the UAE and the UK, stressing keenness of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to upgrade the cooperation ties through reinforcement of private sector role between the two friendly countries.

The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince welcomed the setting up of the Joint Business Council between the two countries, hoping that the council would contribute to finding business opportunities and activating joint ventures to support the national economies in both countries.

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