Abu Dhabi, 23 February 2023:
H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, held a meeting with H.E. Xiana Mendez, Secretary of State for Trade at the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism to explore the strengthening of trade and economic cooperation. Emphasizing the deep historic relations shared by the UAE and Spain, H.E. Al Zeyoudi pointed out that both leaderships remain equally keen to enhance existing cooperation to support their respective economic development visions.
H.E. Al Zeyoudi said: “The bilateral trade figures demonstrate the rapid growth of the UAE-Spain economic relations. Our non-oil trade exchanges exceeded USD 2.6 billion in 2022. The UAE’s non-oil exports to Spain totaled USD 360 million last year while re-exports amounted to USD 181 million.”
He added: “We are keen to strengthen our economic and trade partnership with Spain, especially since Spain is the UAE’s fifth largest European trade partner as of 2022. It accounted for more than 5 per cent of our total non-oil trade with EU. Spain has further become the country’s third biggest European partner in 2022 as it received 8 per cent 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 USD 3.8 billion by the end of 2021 while Spanish FDI in the UAE totaled USD 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 economy 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.
H.E. 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 the principles of the 50 and the 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, H.E. 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 (CEPA), under which, the UAE has signed three agreements with India, Israel, and Indonesia. Negotiations with more markets are currently progressing.