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UAE, Slovenia pursue stronger trading ties

22-9-2016--73 copy


Dubai / WAM

The UAE and the Republic of Slovenia are witnessing an evolving economic landscape and have an extraordinary opportunity to take their bilateral relationship to the next level and help each other make a more positive and profound impact on the global economy, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said on Thursday.
“In recognition of Slovenia’s prime importance as an economic partner, the UAE has entered into various accords with its government such as a bilateral agreement avoiding double taxation on income and has co-signed an agreement to reinforce economic and technical co-operation to establish the institutional and legal framework of joint economic, trade and investment relations and pave the way for further co-operation relations between the two countries,” Al Mansouri said in a keynote address at a seminar organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in co-operation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.
Al Mansouri further stressed that the UAE is fully committed to constantly expanding its economic relations with Slovenia in light of its policy of economic openness and commitment to enhance trade relations with the European continent. Also, Slovenia’s geographic location in the middle of Europe, makes it an ideal gateway to enter some of the most lucrative European markets.
Non-oil trade between the UAE and Slovenia last year was US463.4 million, in addition to $38.6 million driven by free zone activities, the minister said.
”These figures do not do justice to our true potential as economic partners, though there is indeed huge opportunities for further growth thanks to the promising investment opportunities in the areas of tourism, infrastructure, transport, investments, information technology, and innovation, which the two sides are capable of building into a productive partnership,” he noted.
Today’s seminar reinforces the efforts of both the sides in deepening trade ties between their private sectors while enhancing their trade and investment flows to usher in a new era of friendship, growth and co-operation for Slovenia and the UAE, Al Mansouri added.
He also said that the UAE is particularly committed to assisting small and medium-sized enterprises and the country’s priority in its next phase of development is to increase co-operation and exchanges for its economic growth by diversifying and transforming into a knowledge-based economy.
Welcoming the delegation, Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, stressed the desire of Dubai investors to enhance bilateral relations with the Slovenian business community as the country serves as a strategic gateway to the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe.
Slovenia is an important trade partner for Dubai as the emirate’s non-oil trade with the country has grown substantially over the last five years to reach AED352 million in 2015, while there are four Slovenian companies registered with Dubai Chamber, he further stressed.
“Also, Dubai Chamber members’ exports to Slovenia grew to AED98 million in 2015, from AED15.2 million in 2011 and this seminar will help increase these numbers in the future while building stronger bilateral relations between the two countries,” he said.
In his presentation on Dubai Economic Outlook and Dubai Chamber services, Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, stated that the Dubai Strategic Plan 2020 constitutes a starting point for wider efforts to enhance the sustainable development of the emirate, and added that trade is the largest contributor of Dubai’s GDP, and this leading economic driver can help improve trade relations with Slovenia.
Zdravko Pocivalsek, Minister of Development and Technology, Republic of Slovenia, said, “Our visit to the UAE is very important for strengthening the traditionally good ties between Slovenia and the UAE and to continue what we have started last year. This is our first-ever trade and investment mission to the UAE with an aim to develop commercial networks and trade with UAE partners and the Slovenian international trade delegation.”
“We do hope that this will be the first step to bring bigger trade and investment opportunities for both countries. The purpose of the visit is to develop commercial networks and trade for mutual benefit with UAE partners. Following the success of this first and historical trade mission to the country, I am confident that a new era of trade development between our two countries will blossom and grow across a number of key economic and technological sectors,” Pocivalsek added.
Slovenia offers a gateway for investment and trade to markets consisting of half a billion consumers in the region of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, as the country is located in the heart of Europe, bordering Austria, Italy, Hungary and

Slovenia to participate
in Expo 2020 Dubai

Dubai / WAM

The Republic of Slovenia on Thursday signed the letter of intent, confirming its participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai, at a meeting between Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and Zdravko Pocivalsek, Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology.
The meeting was held at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as part of the bilateral co-operation between the UAE and Slovenia in key economic sectors including innovation, tourism, sustainability, transport, and supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Welcoming Slovenia’s participation in the exhibition, Al Mansouri said, “Slovenia enjoys long-standing ties and increasingly strong economic relations with the UAE, and we are delighted that it has confirmed its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, four years ahead of the mega-event. We look forward to Slovenia’s participation as the UAE hosts the region’s first mega event, which will bring nations together to build a better future, and a lasting legacy, for the region and the world.”
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director-General Bureau Expo 2020 Dubai, said, “Today’s announcement with Slovenia demonstrates the power of the expo to form new connections for the future. We are building a festival of human ingenuity that brings millions of visitors and 200 countries, companies and NGOs together. I am delighted that Slovenia has confirmed its participation so early in the process. We look forward to working closely with Ljubljana throughout the journey to the expo, collaborating on a great global showcase and forging a lasting economic legacy of closer co-operation.”
Affirming his country’s commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with the UAE and its people, Pocivalsek, said, “Today’s meeting sets the foundation for our cooperation over the next four years.”
“Signing this letter of intent is an important step. Slovenia has a strong focus on sustainable development, particularly in the tourism sector. At the Expo Milano 2015, we presented Slovenia as green-friendly and we will build on this in Dubai in 2020,” he added.
Minister Pocivalsek, went on to compliment the expo’s early preparations for participant nations, saying, “We admire and acknowledge the impressive organisational efforts and preparations which have been put in place very early for the expo.”
As one of the earliest nations to sign up to participate in the expo, Slovenia will now begin the process of designing its national pavilion for the mega event, which is expected to attract 25 million visitors. Construction of participants’’ pavilions will begin in the second quarter of 2018. Earlier this month, at City Scape, the expo officials announced that early works were complete after 4.6 million cubic metres of earth had been recycled, and that infrastructure work on the site would commence shortly.
The expo is forecast to have a significant beneficial impact on the UAE economy, generating more than 17 billion euros in gross value added, and supporting over 250,000 jobs. It was recently announced that 20 percent of the expo’s budget – comprising AED5 billion – will be allocated to SMEs as part of existing efforts to enhance this sector’s integration into the exposition supply chain, boosting the economic impact of the mega-event for the wider business community.
The partnership represents the latest milestone in the relationship between the UAE and Slovenia. In 2015, The UAE, represented by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the Slovenian government signed an air service agreement, which consists of 24 articles and two annexes, enables the two countries to exercise the fifth freedom rights and specifies the general legal framework for cooperation
between the two countries.

In 2013, the UAE had signed avoidance of double taxation accord. The agreement aims to strengthen mutual economic and trade relations and to develop investments between the two countries. In 2014, a town twining agreement between Fujairah City and the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, was signed to promote bilateral ties of friendship in various areas, including economy, culture, education, tourism, arts and sports. It also provides for co-operation in scientific research and cultural exchanges.

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