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German Chancellor: UAE is Germany's key economic partner in the Middle East

posted on 26/05/2010: 790 views



Dr Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, has praised the UAE's development strategy and said the UAE is a key economic partner for Germany in the Middle East.

Dr Merkel was addressing the closing ceremony of the 8th UAE-German Joint Economic Committee at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. She said her participation reiterates the strategic and strong relations between the two countries. H.E Bernd Pfaffenbach, State Secretary of Germanys Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and senior officials from Germany and the UAE attended the event.

Dr MerKel, said the UAE is a dynamic economy and has achieved remarkable progress over the past years through its focus on all-round development including strategic partnerships globally, including Germany.

She expressed her satisfaction on the results of the Joint Economic Committee meeting, and extended her support to achieve the areas of cooperation outlined by the meeting. These include strengthening of bilateral trade, which reached 6.6 billion euro in 2008, in addition to collaborations in healthcare, education, renewable energy, industries and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Sultan Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, said the meeting attended by Her Excellency Angela Merkel is a clear proof of the strong trust the UAE enjoys globally, and underscores the strong relations between the UAE and Germany. "The UAE and Germany have been working to identify newer areas for co-operation and expand our existing ties. The UAE-German Joint Economic Committee has evolved into an exemplary mechanism, creating strong grounds for the two countries to pool in their capabilities and prosper as strategic partners".

Al Mansouri briefed the German Chancellor on the results of the joint committee meeting including the in-depth discussions to strengthen cooperation in civil aviation, technical cooperation to drive the knowledge economy and Intellectual Property Rights.

The UAE and Germany signed a Memorandum of Understanding to exchange information and strengthen investment projects. The UAE side urged German participants to take into consideration the possibility of an open skies policy with Germany and to allow national carriers to have direct flights to various German cities especially Berlin.

Al Mansouri said that non-oil trade between Germany and the UAE has recorded impressive growth in recent years, and that the UAE is keen to strike a balance by reducing the substantial trade deficit. He also highlighted cooperation in the tourism sector to exchange information and investments, and to arrange joint promotion programmes. He highlighted the UAE experience in the tourism sector where 8 million tourists visited the UAE last year; Germany accounted for 5 per cent of the tourists.

In the domain of Knowledge based economy Al Mansouri expressed the UAE's interest to benefit from Germany's experience and highlighted UAE's modern and integrated infrastructure that complements the nation's aspiration to build a knowledge-based economy.

The two sides said that the conclusion of the EU-GCC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will create additional growth in both countries. The UAE and Germany highlighted their interest to conclude the EU-GCC FTA as soon as possible and on a mutual basis. Both sides stressed that the conclusion of the FTA could positively contribute to enhancing trade cooperation.

Dr. Bernd Pfaffenbach, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, stressed the significance of the meetings of the Joint Economic Committee for the promotion and consolidation of bilateral relations between the two countries and expressed his gratitude for the cordial reception and hospitality shown to the German delegation. He said that UAE continues to be Germany's leading trade partner in the Near and Middle East and stressed the role of the UAE as a centre for trade and financial services in the Gulf region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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