ABU DHABI, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Cabinet Member and Minister of Economy; and Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, met with the UAE-US Business Council in Washington, DC, during the high-level UAE delegation’s visit to the United States.
The meeting was attended by the UAE delegation accompanying the two ministers, in addition to representatives of 85 American companies that are members of the Council. The two sides underlined the importance of the role played by the Council in strengthening ties, forging trade and investment partnerships between the companies of the two countries, and facilitating the exchange of experiences, in addition to reviewing investment trends and opportunities in both markets.
From the UAE side, the meeting was attended by Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; Eng. Saed Mohamed Alawadi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Exports; Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, Chief Executive Officer of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah); and Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Investment Development Agency (FDI).
During the meeting, the UAE and US discussed ways to develop prospects for cooperation, new strategies and directions; and intensify efforts and cooperation during the next stage to diversify and develop trade exchanges and increase the volume of mutual investments. These discussions focused on the sectors of infrastructure, healthcare, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, agricultural technology, and clean and renewable energy.
Bin Touq briefed the Council on the developments in the UAE’s economic environment during the past stage, including the ‘Projects of the 50,’ new economic legislation and qualitative initiatives launched by the country. These initiatives are aimed at aiding the UAE’s transition into a new knowledge-based economic model that is flexible, competitive and sustainable, and embraces talent and pioneering projects. He pointed out that the modernization of the economic system ensures the generation of new and promising incentives and opportunities for investments and partnership with various global markets, particularly American companies.
In addition, Bin Touq reviewed the UAE’s efforts in dealing with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, accelerating the pace of economic recovery, supporting and resuming business activities in various sectors. These were achieved through the adoption of a systematic response and integrated plans based on the principles of proactivity, long-term development and enhancing productivity. He also presented the indicators and positive results achieved by the country in this regard.
Bin Touq said: “The pioneering and fundamental measures taken by the UAE to enhance its current and future position as a preferred destination for business and investments add further value to its position as one of the most vibrant and dynamic trade and investment hubs regionally and globally.” He then noted that such unique economic developments in the region open up promising opportunities and prospects for American companies to establish their presence in the UAE and make it the base for their operations and activities across the region, and to access key markets in Asia and Africa.
Furthermore, he reviewed the most prominent measures and efforts adopted by the country in this regard, including the amendments to the Commercial Companies Law to allow 100% foreign ownership of projects and investments, the developments in the residency system that now provide many and easy options for living, working, investing in and visiting the UAE, and the country’s projects in the field of export development and attract investment, economic agreements and others.
Bin Touq added: “The UAE today is an economic hub that is the most dynamic, most developed and fastest growing in the region, boasting a distinguished strategic location, strong financial reserves, large sovereign wealth funds, robust spending on development projects, a solid, stable and flexible economy, and an attractive and flexible tax policy that does not include any income taxes, as well as its political stability, safe and open environment, tolerant and a multicultural society. It is among the top 20 countries in the world as an ideal place to live, according to global opinion polls.”
Bin Touq further highlighted the strength of the UAE-US economic relations, which is reflected in the volume of mutual investments. The UAE’s investments account for the largest share of the total Arab investments in the US markets, with a cumulative balance of USD 44.7 billion until the end of 2020 and ranking first in the Arab world and 20th globally. The UAE is one of the leading investors in America, as the UAE companies’ investments in the United States in research and development activities related to innovation and technology amount to about USD 1.7 billion. These investments have contributed to supporting American exports with a value of USD 1.3 billion, and in turn, the volume of foreign direct investments from the US to the UAE by the end of last year stood at nearly USD 19.4 billion.
Meanwhile, Al Zeyoudi called on American companies to closely study the UAE’s recent economic initiatives, projects and the broad development prospects that they open up to build sustainable partnerships during the next stage. He urged them to learn more about the incentives offered by the new investment environment in the country, in order to achieve growth and mutual benefit for both parties.
He added: “The UAE offers an attractive and integrated investment climate with its advanced infrastructure, globally competitive transport sector, pioneering logistical services and a strategic location, which offer a myriad of possibilities for trade and investment flows for companies and projects in the UAE. The country provides absolute flexibility to conduct business and commercial and economic activities anywhere in the country including free, industrial and economic zones and commercial complexes.”
He further underlined the country’s keenness to develop its partnerships with the American business community and facilitate American investment flows to new and promising sectors in the UAE, especially in agricultural technology, manufacturing, logistics, health care, education, information and communication technology, digital economy and renewable energy.
The UAE and US also noted the importance of the United States’ participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai next month. The American pavilion is one of the largest pavilions hosted by the exhibition, which will display the latest American products, services, innovations and industries across various activities and sectors, thus enhancing opportunities to develop its trade and partnerships with the UAE and global business community.
Source: Emirates News Agency