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Lubna holds economic talks with European officials

posted on 16/09/2008: 698 views

Minister of Foreign Trade H.E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi has recently conducted several bilateral meetings with European officials on the sidelines of the 3rd Hamburg Summit held from September 10 to 12, 2008, in Hamburg, Germany, under the theme "China meets Europe." The talks focused on the development of trade and investment relations between the UAE and both Europe and China. European and Chinese efforts to strengthen regional cooperation in the light of their significant impact on the global economy were also discussed.

Ole von Beust, First Mayor and President of the Senate, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, met Sheikha Lubna in his office last Thursday, September 11, 2008. The two discussed the friendly relations between the UAE and Germany and how they could further enhance economic, trade and investment ties.

Sheikha Lubna started the meeting by thanking the Government of Hamburg for the official invitation to attend the international conference. She then pointed out the great potential of the UAE to facilitate the improved relations between China and Europe due to the country's strategic geographical location and its expertise in the areas of infrastructure and re-export.

The UAE Minister commended the strategic partnership between the UAE and Federal Republic of Germany in general and the State of Hamburg in particular, noting that various economic sectors in Hamburg participate actively in exhibitions organized in the UAE. She also emphasized the UAE government's eagerness in encouraging the private sector from both countries to invest and establish joint ventures so as to mutually facilitate improved economic growth.

The UAE official also pointed out that the UAE has become a centre for foreign investments and international companies seeking regional and global development and expansion opportunities, noting that the government plans to maintain the pace of economic growth and overcome various challenges to its continuity. She added that the UAE was able to create a competitive economic and social environment through key policies and the encouragement of private sector contributions via investments, expertise and knowledge transfer.

Sheikha Lubna added that the Economic Forum to be held in Hamburg in December 2008 and organized by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry would help further strengthen bilateral relations between the two sides.

For his part, von Beust talked about the economic potential and benefits of Hamburg and cited the constant growth of ties between the city and the UAE. He encouraged the Emirati side to invest in Hamburg's various economic sectors.

Sheikha Lubna also met H.E. Anne-Marie Idrac, French Minister of State for Foreign Trade, during the Summit. Their talks centered on the enhancement of bilateral relations and feedback on previous trade agreements made during previous official visits.

The meeting affirmed the UAE Minister's commitment to coordinating with France on issues concerning the World Trade Organization and supporting negotiations on the signing of a free trade agreement between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Union, especially as France currently holds the presidency of the EU Ministerial Council.

Sheikha Lubna lauded the advanced level of cooperation between UAE and France in various fields, emphasizing the importance of continuous communication in further strengthening relations between the two countries particularly in the areas of economy, trade, investment and industry.

The UAE Minister said that France remains an important strategic partner for the UAE, and that her country looks forward to further cooperation with it. She also welcomed the opening of two French offices for the protection of intellectual property rights and trademark protection in the UAE, referring to the move as a positive step towards enhanced trade relations between the two allied countries.

For her part, Minister Idrac indicated her intention to make an official visit to the UAE to meet the country's officials and discuss the expansion of cooperation between the two countries. She said that the French government welcomes UAE investments into France, and that she would thus discuss the UAE's development plans in the areas of infrastructure and renewable energy when she visits the Emirates. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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