UAE and Vietnam discuss strengthening of economic cooperation - Middle East News 247
July 25, 2024
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UAE and Vietnam discuss strengthening of economic cooperation

Abu Dhabi, 8 May 2023:

H.E. Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, held a meeting with H.E. Vo Thi Anh Xuan, Vietnamese Vice President, to discuss the strengthening of economic partnership between the two countries by boosting trade and investment exchanges.

The meeting was attended by H.E. Khalid Muhammad Balama, Governor of UAE Central Bank; H.E. Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology; H.E. Saif Muhammad Al Suwaidi, Director General of the General Authority of Civil Aviation; H.E. Salem Al Muhairi, Executive Vice President of the Emirates Investment Authority; and Dr. Bakheet Al Katheeri, Executive Director – UAE Industries at Mubadala Investment Company; H.E. Ahmed Al Ahmadi, Senior Investment Manager at Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company; and H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Ateeq, Senior Vice President of Strategic Relations, ADNOC.

The meeting explored the means to enhance cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, industry, energy, renewable energy, financial technology, banking services, agriculture, food security, hospitality, and tourism. Mechanisms to accelerate bilateral negotiations aimed at the establishment of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between the two countries were also discussed.

H.E. Bin Touq emphasized the strength of UAE-Vietnam relations that continue to develop on all fronts, thanks to the shared commitment of both leaderships. He said: “Vietnam is one of the UAE’s largest trading partners in ASEAN and a key trade destination in Southeast Asia. The UAE is also Vietnam’s largest Arab trading partner as of 2022, accounting for 39 per cent of its total trade with Arab countries. The non-oil foreign trade between the two countries totaled nearly AED 29 billion (USD 7.9 billion) in 2022, up 10.5 per cent from 2021.”

The Minister of Economy added: “The meeting is an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to establish a CEPA between the two countries, following the signing of a joint declaration of intent last April. The agreement will boost trade and investment exchanges between the two countries, opening up new avenues for the private sector in various economic and trade sectors, while also supporting the UAE’s efforts to expand the network of trade partners and build new partnerships with global strategic markets. This is in line with the ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision aimed at increasing the country’s non-oil exports to AED 800 billion and raising the value of UAE foreign trade to AED 4 trillion.”

H.E. Khaled Mohammed Balama, Governor of Central Bank of UAE, said: “The strengthening of the economic partnership between the UAE and Vietnam will contribute to enhancing economic growth and investment exchanges, laying strong foundations for a more prosperous and sustainable future. The UAE aims to achieve sustainable growth in the long term by creating opportunities for joint ventures in future economy fields such as FinTech and digital economy, which can be leveraged to elevate the ties between the two countries to new heights. Such efforts are particularly relevant given the growing interest in digital transformation and modern technologies in local and cross-border payments, which enable a vibrant, more sustainable, diversified and innovative economy for entrepreneurs.”

Furthermore, both sides discussed enhancing opportunities for cooperation and dialogue at the private sector level and increasing the UAE’s investments in the Vietnamese market in new economy sectors. Currently, the UAE’s investments in Vietnam amount to AED 260 million (USD 71 million), and several UAE companies such as DP World, Emirates Investments Group, Mubadala, and Borouge have invested there.

During the meeting, H.E. Bin Touq elaborated on the wide array of economic policies and legislation adopted by the UAE to enhance its investment environment, accelerate its transformation towards the new economic model based on flexibility, competitiveness, and sustainability. Among the most notable are the CEPA Program; the granting of 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies in all economic sectors; the issuance of new laws for family businesses, cooperatives, commercial transactions and commercial agencies; and the launch of the annual global investment summit ‘Investopia.’ In addition, new systems were launched for residency and investment in the country, such as the Golden Visa system for many categories with a residency period ranging from 5-10 years. Besides, the launch of the NextGenFDI initiative has contributed to solidifying the UAE’s position as a leading global destination for investment and trade.

Also discussed during the meeting was air and logistics connectivity between the UAE and Vietnam and benefitting from the agreements signed in this regard. There are 80 flights between the two destinations per month, operated by national carriers. The UAE reiterated its keenness to enhance cooperation in the aviation sector, which is witnessing continuous growth as the number of passengers through the UAE’s airports totaled 31.8 million in the first quarter of this year, up 56.3 per cent from 20.3 million passengers in Q1 2022, an increase of more than 11.48 million.

H.E. Bin Touq apprised the Vietnamese side of the indicators of the UAE’s economic growth, including the achievement of an unprecedented 8.5 per cent GDP growth at constant prices in the first half of 2022, and an expected 7.6 per cent real GDP growth by the end of 2022. He also indicated that the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade amounted to AED 2.2 trillion for the first time in its history, up 17 per cent from 2021. The UAE also attracted USD 20.7 billion in FDI in 2021, a growth rate of 4 per cent compared to 2020, to rank first in Western Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, while the total FDIs inflows amounted to USD 22 billion in 2022.

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