ABU DHABI / WAM
The UAEâ€™s non-oil trade with Australia stood at US$2 billion in the first nine months of 2015, making Australia one of its major strategic trading partners, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said during a meeting with Australian Ambassador to the UAE, Arthur Spyrou, on Wednesday.
He said there were 48 Australian companies, 60 trade agencies and 1,081 trademarks registered with the Ministry of Economy.
More than 130 flights weekly link the two countries.
Al Mansouri and the Australian Ambassador explored methods of further boosting joint co-operation in areas of economic, trade and investment, as well as in vital sectors of common interest including innovation, scientific research and SMEs. The two sides also discussed best ways to harness Australian expertise in developing solutions for water and food security which is of special interest to the UAE.
He noted that the exemplary joint co-operation between the two countries in air aviation has even contributed to further solidifying bonds of friendship, spurring trade and tourism exchange and facilitating flow of investment.
â€œThe UAE has set a key target of building an economy that does not depend on oil revenues by creating new economic sectors and improving efficiency and productivity of current sectors. Oil today constitutes 30 percent of the UAE’s GDP,” Al Mansouri added.
â€œThe UAE is looking forward to benefiting from the Australian experience in supporting 15 key economic sectors of the national economy over the next five years,” he said.
Addressing the GCC-Australia Free Trade Agreement, the minister said, ”The UAE welcomes co-operation with Australia to remove any obstacles hindering the conclusion of this agreement.”
The Australian Ambassador said Australian businessmen were considering the UAE an important investment haven given its strategic geographic location as a major regional trade hub, competitive market, attractive investment climate, flexible investment regulations, and modern infrastructure.
In another meeting with Dionyssios Zois, Greek Ambassador to the UAE, the Minister said the UAE and Greece maintain a long-standing friendship, and hoped that economic and trade co-operation would elevate in parallel with that level so as to realise the interests of the two countries. Stressing the need for increasing the two-way trade exchange, the minister recognised the importance of setting up a plan of action and a timeframe for boosting joint co-operation and open up new avenues for investors from both sides.
The value of trade between the two countries reached US$165 million in the first nine months of 2015.
Fifteen Greek companies, 15 trade agencies and 217 trademarks were registered with the ministry.
For his part, the Greek Ambassador affirmed his country’s sincere desire to bolster co-operation with the UAE in various fields, noting the promising opportunities for increasing trade exchanges and co-operation in vital sectors of interest to both countries. The Embassy of Greece, he revealed, was planning to organise a UAE-Greece Business Forum during the current year to highlight tremendous investment opportunities available to each country.