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UAE is a promising partner in Middle East: Ukrainian FM

posted on 08/10/2012: 1838 views

The UAE-Ukraine Joint Ministerial Committee will convene tomorrow its second meeting here under the co-chairmanship of the UAE Foreign Minister, H.H.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryschenko.

Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Hryschenko lauded the UAE as one of Ukraine's promising partners in the Middle East and Kiev lends special attention to its relations with the UAE.

The Ukrainian foreign minister, who arrived in Abu Dhabi yesterday for the meeting, said over the last few years the two countries had intensified political dialogue and talks, and exchanged reciprocal visits at the highest levels.

'The expansion of diplomatic representation underscores the importance of relations with the UAE. Ukraine opened its Consulate General in Dubai and we expect the UAE to open its diplomatic mission in Kiev in the near future, a move that will further deepen our bilateral cooperation,' the Ukrainian foreign minister told Emirates News Agency (WAM).

'The global economic crisis had had negative impact on the dynamics of trade exchange between the UAE and Ukraine. However, it highlighted, at the same time, the urgency for diversifying trade and spurred us to find out new formula of cooperation and to explore new business opportunities in both the UAE and Ukraine and other countries,' he noted.

He indicated that the joint ministerial committee was formed during the last visit of Sheikh Abdullah to Kiev and held its first meeting in Ukraine.

On the schedule of his current visit to the UAE, the Ukrainian foreign minister said the committee will discuss mechanisms of implementing promising projects in areas of investment, agriculture, energy and mechanic engineering.

The committee, he affirmed, had proven its efficiency to stimulate economic and trade activities in 2011 with trade exchange of commodities and services rising 32% over 2010 to US$587 million.

The trade exchange also saw a surge of 50% in the first half of 2012 to US$335 million compared with the same period in 2011.

'No doubt, these figures show recovery of trade exchange in the heel of the world economic crisis but active work with our UAE partners within the framework of the joint committee will expedite recovery and help seize opportunities for joint cooperation.' The minister saw a wide spectrum of potential UAE-Ukraine cooperation in diverse sectors as aerospace, aviation, defence, and commercial satellites.

'Ukraine stands ready to enter into partnership with the UAE for running joint projects on its land in agriculture, processing and exporting food products to the UAE and other Middle Eastern markets. In light of the aggravating food crisis worldwide, attention is now focused on agricultural cooperation with Ukraine not only from the UAE but also from other Arab countries,' Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryschenko noted.

He said: 'Ukraine and UAE have greater potential for joint cooperation in diverse sectors as space, aviation and defence. Development and deployment of satellites into orbit is one of the prospective priorities for such cooperation ........ we have a successful experience that should be expanded. In July 2009, DubaiSat-1 was launched into orbit from by the Ukrainian -Russian rocket and in last April, UAE Yahsat's first commercial telecommunications satellite was lifted to Baikonur Site by the world's largest Ukrainian-made plane.' On renewable energy, Mr. Hryschenko said the UAE hosts the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Kiev pays significant attention to renewables. In 2010, we have not single station for solar power, but in December 2011, we built one of the world's largest solar power plants in Crimea with a total capacity of 100 MW. We are also working diligently to deepening joint cooperation in renewable energy sources. Ukraine is also interested in partnership in nuclear safety fields given its matchless experience in that respect.

Addressing the competitive edge of Ukraine and potential areas for UAE investment, he added: 'The investment opportunities available in Ukraine and the legal environment that effectively regulates investment and protects foreign investors in addition to the huge UAE investment clout will allow the Ukrainian side to present feasible proposals for joint constructive cooperation and investment projects that benefit both countries. I believe political stability in Ukraine and determination of state authorities to go ahead with development plans will provide a key factor for success of foreign investment. A series of reform to improve investment climate are now being introduced under the leadership of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.'

'Ukraine is rich with natural resources and is the world's largest possessor of fertile black soil, providing unique opportunities for agricultural cooperation and I'm going to give a focused attention to this issue during my visit to the UAE, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister said.

Mr. Hryschenko indicated the UAE's engagement in national projects, which top priorities of Ukrainian economic and development plans, stems out of its leading role in IRENA.

'I think National Project "Energy of Nature" which features building clean electricity generation plants from wind and solar powers may provide a good springboard for investment cooperation.' Turning to cultural exchange, the Ukrainian foreign minister said :' No doubt, cultural exchange is developing steadily and we expect Ukraine's cultural days to be staged in the UAE next year which give the UAE community a closer insight into Ukraine's culture.

In the sports sector, he said :'Ukrainian Athletes are regularly participating in sports championships in the UAE and likewise UAE teams are participating in F1 championship and balloon festivals in Ukraine. Ukraine invites every year a group of UAE children to the annual international Children's Festival "Let's Change the World for the Better!"Fantasia Ballet, the number one group in UAE led by balletmaster of Ukrainian origin Svetlana Al Neyadi, has represented the UAE several times in the festival.

On tourism, the Ukrainian foreign minister said cooperation in the sector forms an integral part of bilateral bonds given the UAE's state-of-the-art tourist infrastructure and as a popular and attractive destination for Ukrainian holidaymakers. In turn, Emiratis are discovering attractive tourist opportunities in Ukraine. Flights by Emirates Airline and Ukraine Airline are playing a key role in boosting tourism exchange. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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