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Abdullah bin Zayed: UAE's bonds with Colombia "remarkably developed"

posted on 10/02/2016: 1101 views

BOGOTA: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, has said that UAE relations with Colombia grow from strength to strength, and the current trade exchanges between both countries have the potential to expand significantly, given the strength of bilateral political ties.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah made the remarks, to be published by El Tiempo daily newspaper tomorrow, on the occasion of his official visit to Colombia.

The following is the text of his comments in full: "My visit to Colombia this week presents an opportunity to reflect on the status of our bilateral relations and on what steps we can take to further increase links between Colombia and the UAE.

Despite the long distance between our countries, relations between the UAE and Colombia are remarkably developed. I welcome the fact that Colombia opened an embassy in Abu Dhabi in August 2011 and, with the opening of the UAE Embassy in Bogota in October 2013, we can be optimistic that our bonds will only deepen.

Colombia's support for the UAE's successful bid to host the 2020 World Expo in Dubai was proof of the strength of our relationship. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Colombia for being one of the first countries to officially support the UAE's bid, and I look forward to welcoming Colombian visitors to the first World Expo in the Middle East in 2020.

The meeting of the Joint Committee during my visit will further confirm the growth in cooperation between our countries, and ensure deeper cooperation and exchanges on matters of importance to both our countries.

While the UAE's relations with Colombia grow from strength to strength, we are keen to enhance our cooperation in a number of areas in which we believe closer ties should be forged in areas of mutual interest such as sustainable development and economic growth.

The UAE and Colombia share a common vision for sustainable development. This was evidenced by our close cooperation on the development of the United Nations' post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. The UAE also deeply appreciates Colombia's active role in the International Agency for Renewable Energy, IRENA, which is based in our capital city, Abu Dhabi. And just last month, in Abu Dhabi, the prestigious jury of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the UAE's international awards for energy and sustainability pioneers, announced and honoured Institucio Educativa Gabriel Plazas from Colombia as one of the eight winners across four categories for its 2016 awards cycle.

The UAE is at the centre of a dynamic and rising Asia, rapidly developing Africa, and the established economies of Europe and the United States. Colombia is one of Latin America's most attractive investment destinations, and has the third largest population in Latin America. These trends continue to reinforce our mutual interest in boosting our trade ties.

Since the inauguration of our diplomatic relations in November 1975, trade between our two countries has expanded. Colombia is already a significant exporter of flowers, coffee, gold, emeralds and fine leather goods to the UAE, while the UAE exports building materials and metals such as doors, windows, ceramics, and pipelines to Colombia.

Yet, current trade exchanges between our countries have the potential to expand significantly, given the strength of our political ties. UAE companies are interested in investing in Colombia and in order to facilitate these investments, the UAE is keen on making progress on several important bilateral economic agreements. The beginning of direct flights between our countries could also serve to bring our people and companies closer together.

One of my objectives for this visit is to explore ways to increase dialogue and engagement between our businesspeople and government officials, as they seek to boost cooperation between the UAE and Colombia on economic, cultural, and consular matters.

On the occasion of my visit to Colombia, I reaffirm the commitment of the UAE to continue strengthening our relationship, and I look forward to working with my Colombian partners to further our goals. I am truly inspired by the richness of our cultural ties and the deepening bonds between our people, and I am encouraged by Colombia's drive to innovate and explore new opportunities for a joint prosperous future for our two countries and regions." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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