UAE and Finland to strengthen trade, economic co-operation

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Top officials during the meeting.

The first Political Consultation Committee between the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Finland took place recently, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi.

Non-oil bilateral trade between the UAE and Finland increased 9.5 per cent between 2020 and 2021. It is now $274.7 million in total. The UAE has maintained diplomatic relations with Finland since 1975.

The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Political Affairs and UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Kai Sauer, Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Security Policy, in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

They reviewed the bilateral relationship and discussed opportunities to enhance ties through collaboration on shared interests, including economic development, technology, climate change, and international peace and mediation.

The parties agreed on specific steps to bolster and expand trade and economic relations, including opportunities to deepen business-to-business ties and foster entrepreneurship. Both countries confirmed their shared commitment to addressing the challenge of climate change and to advancing climate security.

They discussed concrete initiatives to cooperate on those issues in the run-up to COP28, which the UAE will host in Dubai in 2023 in Expo city Dubai The Committee reviewed the global political situation, including the latest regional developments in the Middle East and Europe.

Both countries expressed their shared commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the role that regional and international organisations can play in that regard. They concluded by emphasising the importance of concrete, actionable outcomes to their consultations and a continual review process to ensure agreed targets are met.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote cooperation in attracting foreign investments and capacity building.

Both entities agreed to strengthen the UAE’s profile as an ideal destination for trade and investment, principally by enhancing the efforts of UAE missions abroad to promote and facilitate investment opportunities within the UAE.

The MoU sets out a framework for MoFAIC to facilitate trade and investment meetings through its diplomatic missions abroad, engage in information exchange, and develop the capabilities of the diplomatic corps in the field of investment and trade promotion.

ADIO also pledged to engage in a series of workshops dedicated to Emirati diplomats, with cooperation from UAE stakeholders and entities, to provide an overview of Abu Dhabi’s investment environment and priority industry sectors.

Dr. Abdulnasser Alshaali, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of India, said, “This MoU comes at a crucial time, bringing together MoFAIC and leading investment promotion entities within the UAE to support the UAE’s economic diplomacy objectives. This MoU will enable Emirati diplomats to draw upon the networks and experiences of ADIO to strengthen their trade and investment promotion skillsets, as well as increase their knowledge of the UAE’s business environment. I strongly believe that this MoU will deepen the strategic partnership with ADIO and MoFAIC, ultimately enhancing the capabilities of UAE missions abroad.”

Abdulla Al Shamsi, Acting Director General of ADIO, welcomed the initiative and said, “ADIO is excited to build on our partnership with MoFAIC by working together to further strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position as a top business destination for companies from around the world.

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State, and Matti Anttonen, Permanent State Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, earlier convened a virtual meeting of the UAE-Finland Joint Committee. During the meeting, both sides discussed foreign policy issues of interest to both countries.

In his remarks, Al Sayegh affirmed the strength of the two countries’ bilateral relationship and underscored the growing cooperation that the UAE and Finland have enjoyed over the years, including increased economic and cultural cooperation between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1975.

“The convening of the inaugural meeting of the UAE-Finland Joint Committee is a distinguished step forward in advancing bilateral cooperation and coordination between our governments. The UAE considers Finland an important partner in trade, economic exchange, and tourism, and we look forward to expanding shared opportunities for growth and prosperity through the activities of the Joint Committee,” Al Sayegh stated.

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