By Rola Alghoul and Hassan Bashir
ABU DHABI, (WAM) – Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of state for foreign trade, has discussed with Sigrid Kaag, minister for foreign trade and development cooperation of Netherlands, trade and investment ties and ways to develop them for the interest of both countries and peoples.
During the meeting, which was held virtually, they exchanged views on a number of bilateral, regional and international economic issues of common concern.
The two ministers reviewed means to develop partnership during the economic recovery and the post-COVID-19 period.
They also discussed cooperation opportunities to increase trade exchange, enhance the flow of mutual direct investments, and means to encourage more Emirati and Dutch companies to explore opportunities available in the two countries’ markets, and to forge fruitful and sustainable partnerships during the next phase.
The ministers also emphasised the importance of the Netherlands’ participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai.
Dr Al Zeyoudi re-affirmed the depth of the Emirati-Dutch relations, which are well-established and driven by both countries continuous keenness to enhance them across all domains.
“We look forward to strengthening ties between the two countries and exploring new opportunities for partnership during the coming period, as we will work to intensify visits and exchange of trade delegations between the two sides,” the UAE minister stated.
He also reviewed the most prominent indicators of trade and investment exchange between the UAE and the Netherlands, as the total non-oil foreign trade between the two sides in 2020 amounted to more than US$3 billion, while the value of direct Dutch investments in the UAE by the end of 2018 amounted to more than $3.6 billion distributed in sectors including trade, industry, professional activities, transportation and storage.
On the other hand, there are Emirati investments from major companies in the Netherlands, such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, DP World, among others, he added.
Minister Al Zeyoudi explained that the UAE is the second-largest trading partner of the Netherlands at the Arab level, as it acquires 16 percent of its total trade with Arab countries, while the Netherlands is one of the most important sources of the UAE imports of food commodities and their products, and it accounts for more than 15 percent of the total trade of the UAE with European countries of these commodities.
Dr Al Zeyoudi briefed his Dutch counterpart on the efforts the UAE is taking to accelerate the process of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that “the UAE is leading a pioneering and integrated plan that includes a package of flexible initiatives to promote recovery and economic revival and develop a sustainable development path for the economy in the post-COVID-19 phase.
Kaag, in turn, said: “The UAE and the Netherlands have distinguished bilateral relations based on friendship and common economic interests, which have been strengthened by fruitful cooperation over the past decades. It is an important destination for hundreds of Dutch companies and a commercial and investment hub for their cooperation with the Arab Gulf region.
“In the future, we will work hand in hand to meet challenges such as increasing demand for sustainable energy and scarcity of fresh water.”
She added, “During our participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai and through joint economic committee between the UAE and Netherland, we will strive to enhance prosperous partnership between the Dutch government, the private sector and knowledge-based institutions in the UAE, which paves the way for a sustainable economy in the post-pandemic phase.”