Top UAE and German officials at the event in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE has become Germany’s most important trading partner in the Middle East, said Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, adding that the non-oil trade between the two countries amounted to $9.5 billion during 2021, a 10.5 per cent increase compared to 2020.
He said this while addressing an event in Dubai last week on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the UAE and the Federal Republic of Germany.
“The long-lasting and valuable friendship our nations share goes all the way back to May 1972 when diplomatic ties between us were first established,” Al Zeyoudi said at the reception jointly hosted by Ernst Peter Fischer, the German Ambassador to the UAE; Holger Mahnicke, the Consul-General of Germany in Dubai; and Oliver Oehms, the CEO of the German Emirati Joint Council for Industry & Commerce (AHK).
Al Zeyoudi continued, “Our economies are both very much geared for the possibilities of the future. We are eager to embrace new technologies, identify new industries and sectors, deploy the latest thinking, and set our sights on the biggest, boldest projects.” He affirmed that both countries have a shared commitment to utilise every opportunity for partnerships, joint ventures and knowledge sharing to achieve them — especially in the fields of technology and innovation.
For instance, 2020 saw the launch of the Emirati-German task force on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the minister pointed out. This body serves as a networking forum that fosters ties between businesses, research and development bodies, academia, and government entities in the fields of technology, digital connectivity and artificial intelligence, he explained.
Before that, in 2017, the UAE and Germany signed an energy partnership that resulted in numerous high-level visits, seminars and projects on renewable energy, energy efficiency, mobility, and new technologies, Al Zeyoudi noted.
“Today, as economies around the world prepare for the post-COVID era, we in the UAE believe that it is the most suitable moment to strengthen our global partnerships now- and there are few more important to us than the one we enjoy with Germany,” he emphasised.
Ambassador Fischer said Germany and the UAE have established a deep and reliable partnership during the past 50 years.
He expressed confidence that Germany and the UAE would be able to cooperate with each other to face the global challenges. “Let us look forward to the next 50 years,” the envoy said.
Representatives of German businesses, schools and various UAE entities attended the reception.
UAE trade mission: An Emirati trade mission, headed by Assistant Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdulnasser Jamal Alshaali, conducted an official visit to Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania from 8th to 14th May, 2022.
The UAE delegation comprised representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Ministry of Education, Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UAE FCCI), Artificial Intelligence Office, Mubadala, Masdar, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD), Etihad Rail, Dubai FDI, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai Future Foundation, and Sharjah FDI, as well as Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP).
The delegation’s visit aimed to broaden and deepen economic relations, as well as promote bilateral trade and investment.
A number of agreements were signed during the visit, including an MoU between the UAE and Finland in the field of energy; an MoU between Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the Final Terms of Reference of the UAE-Estonia Business Council; an MoU between UAE FCCI and the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia; an MoU between SRTIP and Red Jackets; and an MoU between UAE FCCI and the Association of Lithuanian Chambers of Commerce, Industry, and Crafts.
The delegation participated in a number of high-level and technical meetings, including those held with the Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs, the Finnish Minister of Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, the Estonian Prime Minister, the Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, the Latvian Minister of Economy, the Lithuanian Minister of Economy and Innovation, the Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Economy and Innovation, and the Mayor of Vilnius.
The delegation also conducted site visits to Helsinki Educational Hub, Nokia, Wartsila, and Vilnius City Municipality, and attended a number of key bilateral meetings including the UAE-Estonia Business Seminar, the 2nd Session of the UAE-Estonia Business Council, and the UAE-Latvia Business Forum.