UAE & Azerbaijan conclude 6th Joint Economic Committee

Press Release ( - DUBAI, UAE - Apr 24, 2017 - Abu Dhabi, 24 April 2017

The 6th session of the UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai and co-chaired by H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, and his counterpart, H.E. Shahin Mustafayev, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economic Development, has concluded on a high note. The meeting was attended by H.E. Eng. Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Under-Secretary of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Economy; H.E. Sahil Babayev, Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan; H.E. Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Hamel Al Qubaisi, UAE Ambassador to Azerbaijan, and H.E. Dashgin Shikarov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the UAE. Also present were an elite group of senior officials and representatives of government authorities and business sectors from both sides.

Participants discussed economic cooperation and enhanced bilateral relations through future collaboration in the nine key areas of agriculture, industry, renewable energy, tourism, the environment, water, communications, modern technology and air transport. They also touched on the development of trade and investment exchanges and the strengthening ties between their countries’ business communities.

Several promising joint projects in the fields of logistical services, free trade zones and medical industries were identified. One of the most prominent is an agreement signed by DP World, the Ministry of Economy in Azerbaijan and the Port of Baku on September 7, 2016, to establish the Alyat Free Trade Zone in Azerbaijan. The project is considered one of the most prominent success stories of the UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee.

H.E. Eng. Al Mansoori highlighted the importance of the meetings which have been held regularly during the past eight years. He said that the sessions translate the mutual desire to elevate the level of economic and technical cooperation between the two friendly countries.

He referred to the growing trade exchange during recent years, sharing that total bilateral non-oil foreign trade inclusive of free zone trade topped USD 605 million in 2015, and reached USD 228 million during the first nine months of 2016.

The Minister pointed out that since the Committee’s last session in November 2014, many global economic developments have taken place and both sides must thus work hand in hand to develop a program of cooperation reflecting these developments to effectively deal with related issues to serve their common interests.

H.E. further reviewed the UAE’s achievements in building a flexible economy capable of keeping pace with global movements while preserving its growth and competitiveness by focusing on enhancing the path of economic diversification. He noted the vital support of the wise vision of the leadership to build a future that guarantees the welfare and happiness of the country’s citizens and residents.

According to preliminary estimates for 2016, the national economy grew at around 3 per cent at constant prices, proving its ability to overcome various global challenges. The non-oil sectors expanded by 2.7 per cent while the contribution of the crude oil and natural gas sectors slid to about 16.7 per cent of the real GDP. This falls within the framework of an ambitious economic policy articulated by UAE Vision 2021’s goal of building a diversified and globally competitive economy based on knowledge and innovation and driven by competent Nationals.

H.E. Al Mansoori added that the UAE considers the Republic of Azerbaijan as an important investment and trade partner in light of their strong economic ties. He pointed out that their countries will be cooperating further in various vital sectors, most notably agriculture, trade, investment, industry, tourism, air transport, renewable energy, communications, and technology.

H.E. Mustafayev said that his country is interested in further strengthening cooperation with the UAE in all fields, and benefit mainly from the UAE’s experiences in developing economic diversification policies. He added that the Azerbaijani economy is still heavily dependent on the oil sector which currently accounts for 70 per cent of the country’s GDP. He commended the UAE for successfully diversifying its economy and his country’s aspiration to follow suite.

The Azerbaijani Minister also emphasized his government’s full support in facilitating UAE investments into the local market across various economic sectors in line with his country’s ongoing strategy of establish a framework for economic diversification. He noted that total volume UAE investments into Azerbaijan stood at around USD 800 million, while Azerbaijani investments in the UAE reached an estimated USD 300 million, with total mutual investments exceeding USD 1 billion.

At the end of the meeting, H.E. Eng. Al Mansoori and H.E. Mustafayev signed the protocol of the 6th session of the joint economic committee between their two countries which set nine identified areas for the development of mutual cooperation.

Source : Orient Planet PR & Marketing Communications

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