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Hamdan's visit to Germany very significant: German businessmen

posted on 28/04/2004: 654 views

A number of German businessmen have expressed opinions on the significance of the current visit to Berlin by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and the impact of the visit on the UAE-Germany ties. Commenting on the visit, Peter Ervand, the Chairman of the Bavarian Business Society, said that the visit was a step forward towards the strengthening of relations of economic, commercial and investment cooperation between the two sides.

He told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, that the UAE was Germany's most important trade partner in the Gulf region, and cited the steadily surging index of Germany's export to the UAE, which rose sharply from 1.8 billion Euro in 2000 to more than 3.2 billion Euro in 2003. He said that the importance attached to Sheikh Hamdan's visit by German firms and businessmen stems from the special place the UAE occupies in the heart of Germany and other countries of the world. It is also due to the great respect the UAE, under the wise leadership of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, commands, he added.

Ervand, who is also the director of Bavaria's external trade and export club, his country was very interested in boosting economic, trade, investment and tourism cooperation with the UAE, adding that Germany was making efforts to increase the number of flight schedules with the UAE to further boost air cargo activities. He reiterated that Al Ittihad Airline of Abu Dhabi will soon start operating on a new route to Munich, adding that serious discussions were held yesterday in Munich with officials of the Emirates Airline for the latter to increase its flight schedule to Germany.

He called on UAE businessmen and government firms to participate in the European Investment Exhibition, Exporeal, scheduled to be held in Munich next year, to display before European investors and decision makers all the available investment opportunities and facilities in the UAE. He said that he expected Sheikh Hamdan's visit to Germany to further enhance the existing economic partnership between the UAE and Germany, leading to more joint investments in the UAE in a form of strategic economic partnership between the two countries, adding that Germany, has great experience and capabilities in setting up huge investment projects in the areas such as modernising of infrastructure, housing construction, health services and expansion in the Information Technology and telecommunications sectors.

Wolfgang Martson, Chairman of the Leipzig International Exhibitions Authority, said that economic and trade relations between the two countries have witnessed great improvement over the past five years. This, he said, was in parallel with increasing number of important events, which contributed immensely to the strengthening of ties between the two countries. He cited for example the visit to UAE by the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, last October and the active participation of government and private firms from both countries in trade fairs, organised in the two countries. He urged the UAE side to participate in the specialised trade fairs being organised in Leipzig throughout the year. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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