The UAE Minister of Economy, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, and Luxembourg’s Minister of Economy, Franz Fayot, have discussed means to promote economic and investment relations between the UAE and Luxembourg to achieve the common interests of both countries.
In a meeting, attended by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, the two sides agreed to establish a joint economic committee and hold its first session on the sidelines of the Expo 2020 Dubai.
The committee aims to create new and diverse opportunities for the business communities in both countries, enhance the capabilities available to support non-oil trade exchange, diversify mutual investments for the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, and encourage companies to explore available opportunities and invest in new sectors in both sides markets.
Al Marri highlighted the depth of the UAE-Luxembourg ties, which are driven by the two leadership keenness to bolster coordination at both the governmental and private levels, in addition to expanding economic coordination activities at all levels.
He also re-affirmed the importance of broadening trade and investment ties during the coming period in conjunction with the increase in the economic recovery pace on both sides, as well as strengthening economic efforts and initiatives for the post-COVID-19 era.
"The UAE is the first Arab trading partner for Luxembourg, as it accounts for about 30 percent of Luxembourg's total trade with Arab countries, and there are broad prospects for developing partnerships between the two countries," the UAE minister said.
He added, "It was agreed to establish the joint economic committee to reinforce the cooperation map and explore new opportunities of common interest, such as bilateral trade, mutual investments, entrepreneurship and cooperation in the financial sector, as well as new economy sectors such as innovation, research and development, technology, space and others.
"We will be keen to increase mutual visits and follow up on coordination with our partners in Luxembourg," he noted.
Al Falasi, in turn, shed light on the progress made in the cooperation between the UAE and Luxembourg, which comes as a result of many agreements signed during the previous years, the most important of which is the agreement on economic, commercial and technical cooperation, explaining that the establishment of a joint economic committee would "strengthen cooperation efforts in many vital areas."
He also affirmed the readiness of the UAE and Luxembourg during the next stage to develop tangible programmes and joint projects to support innovation, entrepreneurship, exchange of experiences between small and medium-sized companies in both countries, and explore investment opportunities in this vital field.
For his part, Al Zeyoudi explained that the UAE-Luxembourg relations are witnessing continuous growth, as the volume of non-oil trade exchange between the two countries for the year 2020 amounted to more than $100 million, and the UAE is among the top 20 investing countries in Luxembourg. The total volume of mutual investments has exceeded $86 billion at the end of 2019.
"The two sides are bound by several agreements to prevent double taxation, protect and encourage investment and air services, besides agreements between the chambers of commerce to enhance partnership and increase investments," he noted.
Fayot assured his country's aspiration to strengthen economic ties with the UAE in sectors of common concern, especially the space sector, modern technologies, clean technology; and health technology, as well as supporting the entrepreneurship sector and small and medium enterprises.
He pointed out that Luxembourg is the first country in the world to formally sign a participation contract for the Expo 2020 Dubai activities, in a step that reflects Luxembourg commitment and eagerness to achieve qualitative and distinguished participation in global events. ■
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