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UAE, Paraguay discuss economic co-operation

posted on 19/01/2017

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and Gustavo Leite, Paraguay's Minister of Industry and Commerce, discussed the promotion of trade and economic ties through joint investments in areas of mutual interest.

The two ministers met in Dubai, in the presence of Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary in the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade Affairs, and Angel Barchini, Non-resident Ambassador of Paraguay, and several other officials.

The two sides discussed ways to develop co-operation, especially in the sectors of agriculture, nutritional products, energy and industry.

The two sides also reviewed investment opportunities in infrastructure, tourism and aviation sectors, stressing the importance of strengthening co-operation in the field of air transport.

"Paraguay is an important gateway for the UAE in South America," Minister Al Mansouri noted.

The non-oil trade exchange between the two countries accounted for US$30 million in 2015 and $18 million in the first half of 2016.

Leite affirmed his country had targeted investments in three main sectors in which it possessed competitive advantage, such as agriculture and nutritional products, research and exploration for oil and gas, and the industrial sector. Paraguay would like to benefit from the experience of the UAE in these fields, he added.

Paraguay is set to be the new industrial hub of South America, as it possesses several competitive factors such as energy, qualified labour, he remarked, adding that it was willing to resolve all impediments to facilitate the UAE's entry into the country's markets.

Promoting co-operation in the field of air transport is important, as it will directly link both the countries, he stated, also mentioning several investment opportunities in the tourism and infrastructure sector for the UAE.

Paraguay grows key crops such as corn, rice, wheat and soya bean, and has a wealth of cattle and poultry, he said, expressing hopes of enhanced bilateral trade in these sectors, especially the food industry. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE, New Zealand discuss ways to strengthen economic ties

posted on 19/01/2017

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy, has said that the economic relations between the UAE and New Zealand have seen continued growth and expected to develop further as the two countries are keen to strengthen co-operation in a number of sectors of common interest, prioritised in their respective development plans.

The announcement came during a meeting between the UAE Minister of Economy and Todd McClay, New Zealand's Minister of Trade, and the delegation accompanying the him. The meeting was held at the UAE Ministry's Dubai headquarters.

The meeting discussed the potentials of increasing trade and strengthening co-operation in a number of areas such as agriculture and food, renewable energy, innovation, civil aviation and tourism. The officials further focussed on the current status of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the GCC and New Zealand. They also reviewed a number of key issues that could be raised at the next meeting of the Joint Economic Committee, set to take place later this year in New Zealand.

Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Shehhi, Under-Secretary for Economic Affairs; Humaid bin Butti Al Muhairi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Corporate Sector and Consumer Protection; Abdullah Sultan AlFan AlShamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Industrial Affairs, and several senior officials and advisers from the Ministry of Economy, MOE, were present at the discussions. Jeremy Clarke-Watson, New Zealand's Ambassador to the UAE; Kevin John Mckenna, Consul General of New Zealand, and the New Zealand Embassy's Deputy Head of Mission Rebecca Wood also attended the meeting.

Al Mansouri stated that the country's leadership prioritises innovation and thus places great importance on the National Innovation Strategy. He underscored the strong interest of the ministry to closely work and co-operate with New Zealand on innovation initiatives as it is looking at signing a memorandum of understanding between the two parties.

The minister said that the next meeting - the sixth session of the Joint Economic Committee, would be an important platform for accelerating the pace of current agreements. It would also facilitate discussions on ways to increase developmental opportunities and overcome potential challenges in economic, trade and investment ties and partnerships with the private sector, he added.

According to Al Mansouri, co-operation in agricultural and food industries and enabling the UAE's agricultural investments in New Zealand top the list of the Joint Economic Committee's agenda, given their major roles in addressing food security. The meeting will also focus on co-operation in civil aviation, a key trigger to mutual development of trade, investment and tourism.

Both ministers discussed the latest updates on the FTA between New Zealand and the GCC, with Al Mansouri clarifying that the agreement is now in its final stages and is currently undergoing legal review by some of the GCC countries before final approval. He also noted the importance of the agreement in enhancing trade and investment between the two countries.

McClay expressed New Zealand's paramount interest in FTA as it will significantly increase trade volumes in the region, and lauded the UAE's and the ministry's major role in making the agreement a reality.

The New Zealand minister also discussed possibility of bilateral co-operation in gaining access to new regional markets. He noted the importance of the UAE as a commercial gateway that facilitates New Zealand's trade access to the Middle East, African and European markets, and New Zealand's value as a significant link for the UAE to access South American markets.

Total foreign trade between the UAE and New Zealand reached US$1.6 billion in 2016, and is expected to increase significantly as both countries continue to push bilateral trade and economic co-operation.

McClay said that New Zealand will soon go ahead with the development and expansion of hospitality projects in several cities, opening an important opportunity for the UAE, which has built a global reputation in this sector.

Al Mansouri also urged New Zealand companies to explore the prospects of doing business in the UAE, which offers an advanced economic environment, facilities, benefits and development incentives that help the growth of high-value industries.

The UAE minister said these criteria form part of the government's directives towards establishing a knowledge-based economy while exploring growth in transport, renewable energy, infrastructure, and small-and-medium enterprise segments. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Partnership strategy core element of Etihad’s growth, says Group President and CEO James Hogan

posted on 19/01/2017

Etihad Aviation Group's partnership strategy had been a core element of its business growth, President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said yesterday.

While delivering a keynote at the19th Annual Global Airfinance Conference in Dublin, Hogan said its strategy, which resulted in 5.5 million guests connecting to the Etihad Airways' network through codeshares and partners in 2016, had ensured revenue and synergy benefits.

"Our investments had an immediate impact on the revenue side, delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenues and allowing us to fill our onward connecting flights. Those benefits have been replicated in all our minority investments, in airberlin, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional.

"We also believed our minority investments would unlock an additional advantage that the global alliances were simply unable to use. Because we had ‘skin in the game,' we could work on joint procurement and other business synergies, which would save us, and our partners, hundreds of millions of dollars. Again, we have seen similar benefits from each of our investments, with those synergies being shared by all the partners."

Hogan said the third goal of the equity investments, to allow the management of these airlines to reshape their businesses into sustainable profitable operations, required a longer-term view.

"Of course, their business strategies remained in the hands of the local management in each case. We are pleased to support the management, and to advise where requested, but the plans and implementation are in their hands.

"In this third area, we have had some strong results, but we also face some significant challenges. Jet Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Etihad Regional have all used our capital investments to help structure their businesses into more efficient and profitable operations. In those cases, our long-term investments are already delivering returns," he said.

"We are committed to our equity partner strategy - it delivers a huge amount to our business. Some of those airlines need to react to the market pressures they face, and we are supportive of that process," Hogan added.

"That approach has helped Etihad grow from a US$300 million a year airline to a diversified aviation group, which delivers revenues of more than US$26 billion. Etihad Airways sits at the heart of that business, of course, but is now only one element of a model, which includes significant other businesses and investments.

"That evolution has not happened by accident. Etihad Aviation Group is now a solid, diversified business with strength in depth, and with the scale to shape its destiny in the future," he said in conclusion. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Harvard students briefed on work of MoI

posted on 19/01/2017

H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, has 0met a delegation from the American Harvard University last on Tuesday, at the ministry.

The delegation included professors and students who are here to observe the innovations and practices of the UAE government in the fields of strategy and security.

Sheikh Saif conveyed to the delegation the country's efforts to encourage innovation and youth education, while maintaining the community's link to its culture and heritage.

Sheikh Saif cited the accomplishments of the UAE government in providing services, improving its practices and partnerships with the private sector, the development of policing and the sharing of its experiences with other countries.

Revealing some of the innovations made in the field of security, he mentioned the invention of a device to check passports in record time, and a children's car seat that works as a digital companion to the child, in case the driver has left the vehicle. This innovation won the top spot in the British and American Awards for Ideas in 2013 and 2014, he said.

The delegation was informed about the Ministry of Interior, MoI, Excellence Award for distinguished students studying abroad, and the vision of the ministry, so that the UAE becomes the safest country in the world.

Aisha Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, an Emirati student at the American Harvard University, presented a gift to Sheikh Saif on behalf of the delegation for his inputs on policing and security.

Major General Dr. Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of the Office of HH Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Major General Ahmed Naser Al Raisi Inspector General of the Ministry of Interior, and several general managers and CEOs from the ministry attended the meeting. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ERC distributes over 3,000 food baskets and tents in Yemen

posted on 19/01/2017

ADEN: The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has distributed 3,440 food baskets and 100 tents to the population of Ras al-Ara and Bab-el-Mandeb.

Last week, ERC also distributed more than 6,000 food baskets in these areas. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi Federal Appeal Court sentences three defendants to jail terms on charges of terrorism

posted on 19/01/2017

ABU DHABI, 19th January, 2017 (WAM) -- The Abu Dhabi Federal Appeal Court has sentenced three men, two Emiratis and an Arab male, to jail terms ranging from one year to five years on charges of terrorism.

It sentenced a UAE national, identified by his initials as A.H.M., to five years in jail and also fined him AED1 million. The court also ordered the confiscation and destruction of contents of seized computers. It also sentenced another Emirati, identified as H.S.M., to one year in prison.

The court sentenced an Arab national, identified as A.H.Y.J., to three years in jail, and ordered his deportation after serving the jail term.

It also heard 11 other cases related to state security. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


HBMSU launches professional diploma in events and convention management

posted on 19/01/2017

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, HBMSU, has introduced a professional diploma for events and convention management.

The programme aims to improve the participants' skills to manage international events with high efficiency and in accordance with highest quality and innovation standards using latest technologies.

The new programme, which has obtained Pearson's recognition, is part of the professional training programmes under HBMSU, and an important addition to the nationwide efforts under the UAE Vision 2021 to develop the potentials of the country's human resources for building a competitive, knowledge-based economy.

The professional diploma in events and convention management is part of HBMSU's integrated portfolio of innovative academic and professional programmes specifically designed to support investments in human capital as required by the UAE Vision 2021, which aims to build a competitive economy led by the UAE Nationals through knowledge and innovation.

The new programme covers 24 training days, at an average of six hours a day, plus an additional day for presenting the graduation project. It offers six training modules in Arabic language, including Development of Events and Event Management Industry, Creative Design of the Event and Choosing Speakers and Partners, Preparing and Managing Budgets and Implementing Logistics, Planning and Designing Marketing Plans and Public Relations Campaigns, Protocols and Etiquettes, and Applied Practices besides the graduation project.

Speaking on the occasion, Athbah Al Kamdah, Vice Chancellor, Learner Development, HBMSU, said, "The Professional Diploma in Events and Convention Management is of exceptional importance as it is key to preparing the UAE's workforce through knowledge, innovation and the ability to make a positive change in the events management industry, both locally and internationally, as well as play a pivotal role in the success of hosting Expo 2020 in Dubai under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future'."

The global event is expected to support Dubai's economy with revenues estimated at US$23 billion.

Launching the programme aims to meet the growing need for high levels of professionalism and innovation as part of the preparations for this prestigious global event, which is expected to draw more than 25 million visitors from all over the world for a period of six months.

"Events management is suitable for those who think creatively and possess the ability to innovate, organise, plan and communicate effectively, as well as implement plans professionally, taking into account the fine details that make a difference. This will contribute effectively to the success of Expo 2020, which will undoubtedly be the largest cultural and economic gathering," Al Kamdah said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE President’s Initiatives Committee approves 420 construction projects at cost AED500 million

posted on 19/01/2017

The UAE President's Initiatives Committee has endorsed 420 construction projects at a cost of AED500 million, to be implemented across the country.

The move is in sync with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

During its meeting held on Tuesday and chaired by Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs, the committee also reviewed the progress of the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed City project in Fujairah. It is an integrated city in Al Hail area, Fujairah, spread over land area of 2.15 million square metres, and houses 1,100 residential units.

The committee approved connecting the internal sewerage network of the city with the sewerage system of Tanqia Company in Fujairah. The project also includes construction of pumping stations and pipelines as well as the expansion of pumping lines at a total cost of AED37 million.

The committee also reviewed the rehabilitation of landfills in the UAE.

The meeting was also attended by Jabr Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Crown Prince's Court of Abu Dhabi; Rashid Al Amiri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, and other senior officials. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -