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UAE is the miracle of the 21st century: Japanese Minister

posted on 25/04/2007: 719 views

Tokyo - Economy Minister, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, held here yesterday a meeting with the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Akira Amari and discussed with him ways to boost economic ties, investment and trade cooperation in view of the two countries' rapid economic growth.

During the meeting which was held in the presence of UAE Ambassador, Saeed Ali Al Nuwais and members of the delegation accompanying the UAE minister, Sheikha Lubna stressed on the need to boost relations between the two countries, particularly in the areas of economy, trade, investment, industry and renewable energy.

She made a presentation of the UAE's economic development and the achievements of the UAE national economy last year. She said the UAE economy had witnessed a significant boom and achieved high economic growth rate in 2006 across all economic and social sectors in line with the country's economic diversification policy, adding that the UAE's gross domestic product (GDP) grew last year by 23.4% to reach Dh599 billion.

"Although the UAE is the world's sixth oil producer, its economy does not rely much on oil revenue. The country has succeeded in its economic diversification policy with the non-oil sectors contribution to the GDP accounting for Dh376 billion last year," she stated, adding that the UAE remained Japan's number one trade partner in the region.

The UAE minister touched on her country's initiatives in the area of renewable energy. She noted that Abu Dhabi will soon have one of the world's biggest solar energy projects.

She cited the significant role being played by Japanese companies in the UAE's development through their contributions to development and investment projects. She said there are currently over 200 Japanese firms operating in the country and attributed their success to the UAE's investment and business-friendly environment and legislation.

She stressed on the importance of the UAE-Japan Forum, which opens later today here in the Japanese capital. She said about 200 businessmen and investors from the UAE will be taking part in the forum, which aimed at boosting economic ties between the two countries.

She also stressed on the need to finalise the free trade agreement between the Gulf Cooperation Council and Japan next year in order to further strengthen economic and trade relations between the UAE and Japan.

The Japanese minister, for his part, warmly welcomed Sheikha Lubna and her entourage to Japan. He said the visit reflects the commitment of the UAE leadership in boosting further bilateral relations between the two countries. He praised the UAE's strategy in economic development and described the country as the miracle of the 21st century as was Japan the miracle of the 20th century.

The Japanese Minister expressed great interest in the UAE's environmental protection efforts and the country's initiative towards renewable energy in the future. He expressed Japan's preparedness to help the UAE in this area by providing the country with the necessary technology.

He reiterated his country's deep interest in strengthening bilateral ties with the UAE and cited the visit next week to the UAE by Japanese Prime Minister. He said the visit would launch a new era in the history of the two countries' bilateral relations.

He also expressed the hope that the free trade agreement between the GCC and his country would be signed next year to give a major boost to the partnership relations between Japan and member states of the GCC, particularly the UAE. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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