UAE & Mexico hold extensive discussions on strengthening economic cooperation
· Mexico- UAE Business & Trade Forum discusses partnerships between private sectors of both countries · Non-oil trade between the two countries estimated at USD 1.4 billion in 2019 with more than 15 per cent growth
H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, discussed ways to further develop economic cooperation frameworks with Mexico during a number of bilateral meetings with Mexican ministers and other government officials, held in connection with the UAE delegation’s participation in the ‘Mexico-UAE Business and Trade Forum,’ hosted by Mexico. The UAE delegation to Mexico and Colombia, led by H.E Al Mansoori, consisted federal and local government officials and selected business-owners and representatives from the UAE’s private sector.
The visit was attended by H.E Ahmed Hatem Al Menhali, UAE Ambassador to Mexico; and Francisca Elizabeth, Mexican Ambassador to the UAE; while the UAE delegation included H.E. Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade Affairs; and Mohammed Nasser Hamdan Al Zaabi, Director of the Trade Promotion Department at the Ministry of Economy.
An integrated framework to enhance tourism cooperation
During H.E. Eng. Al Mansoori’s meeting with H.E Miguel Torruco Marques, Mexican Minister of Tourism, both sides discussed ways to boost tourism exchanges between the UAE and Mexico by encouraging tourists.
H.E Al Mansoori emphasized that tourism development is a major focus area for the UAE, in view of the sector’s potential to drive economic diversification efforts in order to achieve sustainable development. In this regard, Mexico, with its natural and heritage diversity, is an important partner for the UAE to boost tourism cooperation with, he added.
The Minister of Economy also explained that investing in the tourism and hospitality sector is one of the priorities of Emirati companies investing abroad with its vast capabilities and experiences in this sector, he noted the importance of the recent airline that Emirates operates, which links Dubai and Mexico via Barcelona.
Meanwhile, H.E the Mexican Minister of Tourism welcomed the UAE delegation, and pointed out that the ongoing construction of a new airport in Mexico City, set to be completed within two years, will enable the UAE’s airlines to strengthen its network to Mexico and the Caribbean. It will help enhance air connectivity between the two countries, as there are not many UAE tourists arriving in Mexico currently. Although the numbers are small, the tourist inflows witnessed an 18 percent growth in 2019, compared to 2018, he noted.
Food security, renewable energy, industry, innovation & logistics top priority areas for cooperation
During his meeting with H.E Ernesto Fernandez, Deputy Minister of Economy of Mexico, on behalf of Her Excellency the Minister of Economy, Al Mansoori discussed the importance of identifying top priority areas for cooperation during the next phase. The discussions focused on the development of joint action plans in the fields of agriculture, food security, renewable energy, industry, innovation, technology and logistics.
Joint efforts to expand the scope of economic partnership
Al Mansoori also held discussions on the importance of cooperation efforts between the two countries in priority sectors such as food security, innovation, renewable energy, SMEs, logistical services, and air transport with H.E Al Fonso Romo, Chairman of the Economic Development Council. Furthermore, both sides discussed ways to enhance communication at the cultural, tourist and popular levels.
Introducing promising business opportunities in both countries
H.E Al Mansoori met with H.E Marcelo Luis Ebrad Casaubou, the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss the importance of enhancing coordination to familiarize stakeholders from government agencies and the private sector on both sides with prospects for cooperation, exchange of experiences, promotion of business opportunities and promising projects. He discussed ways to stimulate mutual investments that are vital channels for cooperation during the next stage, and efforts to intensify government-government dialogue as well as communication at the corporate level. The Ministers also discussed enhancing participation in joint economic exhibitions and events; and the intensification of the exchange of visits and trade missions according to a clear strategy that serves the shared interests.
The non-oil foreign trade between the UAE and the Mexico is estimated to reach USD 1.4 billion in 2019, up from approximately USD 1.2 billion in 2018 and recording a growth of more than 15 per cent, H.E Al Mansoori said during the UAE delegation’s participation in the ‘Mexico-UAE Business and Trade Forum.’
“The UAE government remains keen to develop and diversify aspects of cooperation with our partners in Mexico at the government level and also by encouraging Emirati investments and business activities in Mexican markets and the whole of Latin America,” he added.
He said: “At the same time, we look forward to attracting more businesses from this vital region to explore diverse opportunities across promising sectors in the UAE’s markets and benefit from the strategic location of the UAE and its developing economy. The country’s prestigious position as a business and financial hub and an investment destination can be attributed to its capabilities as a leading FDI destination, which makes it an ideal partner for the Mexican business community.”
H.E Ernesto Fernandez, Deputy Minister of Economy of Mexico, said in his speech that the UAE has become a model for progress, diversification of economic resources and accelerated development in the areas of investment and trade exchanges in the Middle East region
H.E Ahmed Hatem Al Menhali, UAE Ambassador to Mexico, expressed his optimism about the growth of bilateral relations and economic and trade ties between the UAE and Mexico spanning a wide range of vital sectors in the next phase. He further highlighted the significance of Mexico’s decision to exempt UAE citizens from visa requirements to enter the country. This would enhance its attractiveness as a tourist, commercial and investment destination for Emirati travelers, he said.
During the forum, the UAE and Mexico discussed enhancing investment opportunities, establishment of joint projects, boosting of tourism exchanges, development of partnerships and exchange of experiences in the field of SMEs and finding channels to connect business leaders from both countries. Cooperation in the fields of civil aviation, agriculture, food security, halal industry and credit; Mexico’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai; the promotion of non-oil trade between the two countries; and ways to facilitate Emirati exports to the Mexican markets were also discussed.
The forum, which was attended by nearly 250 officials, investors and businessmen from both countries, successfully hosted an array of B2B meetings between the representatives of the Emirati companies and their Mexican counterparts. Furthermore, it featured a set of presentations made by the UAE and Mexico on the most prominent sectors of cooperation and partnership opportunities during the next stage. From the UAE’s side, H.E Jamal Al Jarwan, Secretary-General of the UAE International Investors Council; H.E Abdullah AL Maeeni, Director General of Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology; Ahmed Al Mutawa, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Terminals; Mohammad Juma Al Musharrakh, Chief Executive Officer of the Sharjah FDI Office; Ahmad Hamza, Executive Director free zone, DMCC; and Astrid Shadid, Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean Affairs of Annual Investment Meeting, delivered presentations.
The UAE delegation included representatives of governmental, semi-governmental and private sector entities, most notably the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Dubai FDI; Mubadala; and Emirates Global Aluminium, in addition to representatives of businesses in food industry, general trade, consulting and services.