UAE and Uzbekistan to boost economic & trade partnership prospects
The 3rd session of the Joint Economic Committee between the UAE and Uzbekistan was held recently in Tashkent, the Uzbek capital. The Committee was chaired by H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, representing the UAE Government, and H.E. Ganiev Elyor Majidovich – Deputy Prime-Minister of Uzbekistan
As part of the Committee’s agenda, both countries agreed to enhance economic, trade and technical cooperation based on a number of policies and programs, including a range of priority sectors of shared interests. Most notably, the UAE and Uzbekistan agreed to increase trade exchange volume and investments in renewable energy, agriculture, food production, textile, infrastructure and tourism sectors, as well as cooperation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs), civil aviation, tourism, manufacturing, financial sector and Halal industry.
The meeting was attended by H.E Mohammed Hareb Al Mehairbi, UAE Ambassador to Uzbekistan. The UAE delegation included H.E Eng. Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Economy; H.E.Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs; H.E. Ibrahim Al Zaabi, Insurance Authority Director General; H.E.Abdullah Al Maeeni, Director General of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA); H.E Gaith Al Gaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai; and representatives of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Dubai Chamber, Investment Corporation of Dubai ICD, Mubadala, Masdar, Majid Al Futtaim Group.
H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori said during his speech at the main session of the committee’s meeting that the strong bilateral relations between the UAE and the Uzbekistan are reinforced by cultural and historic ties and Islamic affiliation. He pointed out that the economic aspect is an integral part of the bilateral relations. He added that Central Asia is a major focus area with regard to UAE’s international economic cooperation, and Uzbekistan is a major political, economic and cultural center in this region and hence the UAE is keen to develop economic cooperation in areas of shared interest.
The UAE government is looking forward to the committee’s outcomes as an important factor to enhance economic partnerships between both countries according to a clear vision and direction. This will help identify areas of cooperation for the future, discuss ways to increase trade exchange volume, discuss opportunities for partnership in both countries’ markets, agree on policies for coordination and exchange of expertise between the concerned parties on both sides. It will also support the efforts of the private sector in both countries to overcome obstacles and will facilitate their endeavors to build business partnerships and investment projects that serve the shared interests and economic objectives of both Uzbekistan and the UAE.
H.E pointed out the importance of joint efforts to increase the volume of non-oil trade exchange. In 2017, this figure reached USD 387 million, which he emphasized is not in alignment with the aspirations and potential of both countries. This highlights the need for further cooperation and coordination during the next phase to strengthen trade between the two countries.
He also called on Uzbek companies to take a closer look at the opportunities for cooperation in the UAE and to build effective partnerships with UAE companies, especially in fields of agriculture and food products, energy and renewable energy, textile industries, tourism, transport and financial services. He pointed out that Expo 2020 provides an ideal opportunity to strengthen partnership with Uzbekistan at the governmental and private levels, in order to start a new phase of trade and economic cooperation between both countries.
H.E. Ganiev Elyor Majidovich said in his opening remarks during the meeting that the UAE is an important strategic partner for Uzbekistan in the region and both countries have built bilateral relations based on common interests.
He emphasized that his country is committed to supporting all efforts of joint cooperation between both countries, especially in the sectors of economy, trade and financial and investment cooperation, as well as developing partnerships in education, health care, tourism and various development sectors that serve the interests of both parties.
H.E Eng. Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi reviewed the topics agreed upon in the minutes of the 3rd session of the committee, which included a number of cooperation areas of common interest. The most important of these are the increase in trade exchange rates and the promotion of mutual investment in sectors of energy and renewable energy, agriculture, food, infrastructure, tourism and textile products. Both parties also agreed to implement mutually beneficial investments with the support of a joint venture company with a declared capital of one billion dollars. These are currently underway and are being established by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the Uzbek Fund for Reconstruction and Development.
The UAE and Uzbekistan also agreed on the importance of cooperation in the SME sector, particularly in the areas of trade, investment and agricultural cooperation, as well as the importance of industrial cooperation in the fields of oil and gas, petrochemicals, food and renewable energy, and to cooperate in financial sector, the use of Blockchain technology and artificial intelligence in its development, as well as cooperation in the fields of civil aviation, tourism and Halal industry.