Dubai — Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and Barbara A. Leaf, the US Ambassador to the UAE, discussed ways to enhance joint co-operation and develop economic ties between the two friendly countries, especially in the field of innovation.
These actions were agreed upon when Al Mansouri on Saturday received Leaf in the presence of Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Economy, and other US embassy officials.
The duo discussed Al Mansouri’s US visit last September heading a high profile Emirati delegation which included a number of key officials at government departments and private sector businessmen. The visit, which included Washington, DC, Seattle, Palo Alto, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, aimed to view the US experience in the field of innovation.
Al Mansouri said: “Innovation and entrepreneurship are deemed the most important areas in today’s discussions in our bid to build a knowledge-based economy. This tour has enabled us to draw an integrated image about the latest technological developments in various vital sectors which, we see, will contribute actively to supporting our efforts to move to a knowledge-based economy to make its contribution to be not less than five per cent of the total national input in 2021.”
Commenting on the existing co-operation between the UAE and US governments in the economic field, Al Mansouri said: “The UAE-US ties, particularly in the economic, trade and investment domains, are growing rapidly and are set for further growth in the light of the mutual desire of both sides to further develop them.”
He added: “The US is the fourth largest partner of the UAE in terms of non-oil trade, and we wish to leverage the volume of trade exchange, which reached $26.9 billion in 2013, nearly Dh98.7 billion.”
He also indicated that the volume of trade between the two sides had contributed to 200,000 job opportunities in the US, where the UAE is considered one of the US’ largest import markets in the Middle East, pointing out the volume of the UAE investments has exceeded $21 billion in the US capital markets and direct investments fields.
The minister also added that the UAE is home to over 1,000 US companies, many of which counts the country as a regional headquarters for their operations. More than 60,000 US citizens are living or working in the UAE.
On her part, Leaf hailed the growing development being witnessed by the UAE in various economic, trade and investment fields, stressing the UAE is adopting the right approach towards a knowledge based-economy by supporting innovation and focusing on different types of research that serve various economic sectors. She also affirmed her country’s readiness to fully co-operate with the UAE in the field of innovation and the transfer of US knowledge and experience as required.
The US envoy described the UAE-US relations as “very strong”, highlighting the successive visits of a number of US officials to the UAE in various field.
She also that the UAE enjoys the necessary efficiencies in the development process and its wise leadership has a clear vision which is supported by political and economic stability to promote innovation in the short and long terms.
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