ABU DHABI, 23rd February, 2023 (WAM) -- Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, held a meeting with Xiana Mendez, Secretary of State for Trade at the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, and discussed strengthening the trade and economic cooperation.
Emphasising the deep historic relations between the UAE and Spain, Al Zeyoudi pointed out that both leaderships remain equally keen to enhance the existing cooperation as part of their respective economic development visions.
Al Zeyoudi said, "The bilateral trade figures demonstrate the rapid growth of the UAE-Spain economic relations. Our non-oil trade exchanges exceeded US$2.6 billion in 2022. The UAE's non-oil exports to Spain totalled US$360 million last year while re-exports amounted to US$181 million."
He added, "We are keen to strengthen our economic and trade partnership with Spain. Spain has become the UAE's third biggest European partner in 2022 as it received 8 percent of the UAE's total non-oil exports to the EU countries. In addition, the Spanish market is a key global market that enjoys special attention from the UAE's business community. The UAE's total investments in Spain reached approximately US$3.8 billion by the end of 2021 while Spanish foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UAE totalled US$72 million by the end 2020."
The meeting explored means to enhance existing economic and trade relations between the two countries and diversify them in sectors of common interest.
In addition, both parties agreed to support investment exchanges in the fields of entrepreneurship, tourism, innovation, technology, food security, real estate, logistics, mining, transformative industries, renewable energy and other future economic sectors that support the sustainable development of both economies.
The means to create new mechanisms that facilitate the access of business communities to promising opportunities in both markets were also discussed.
Al Zeyoudi elaborated on the UAE's prestigious position on the global economic landscape, as well as the measures adopted by the country to transition towards a sustainable knowledge economy based on innovation, in light of "Principles of the 50" and "UAE Centennial 2021".
Most notable legislative amendments include the granting of full foreign ownership, enhanced intellectual property protection and the launch of an ambitious strategy to attract talented and creative individuals to all sectors, which boosts the UAE's position as a hub for creativity and innovation.
Moreover, Al Zeyoudi asserted that the UAE's market offers diverse opportunities and incentives that can support the growth of Spanish companies in the UAE and the wider MENA region. He further invited the Spanish private sector to leverage the benefits and incentives offered by the UAE economy to promote economic cooperation.
These include Investopia that aims to create opportunities and empower future investments, as well as Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPAs). The UAE has signed three CEPAs - with India, Israel, and Indonesia - and negotiations are going on with many other countries.