UAE-Spain committee concludes first meeting in Madrid
Ministers issue joint statement, expressing interest in stronger economic co-operation, open skies and formation of UAE-Spanish Business Council
Madrid, April 15, 2010: The UAE Minister of Economy His Excellency Sultan Al Mansouri, and His Excellency Miguel Sebastian, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, issued a joint statement in Madrid today marking the close of the first meeting of the UAE-Spain Joint Economic Committee.
The two ministers expressed satisfaction over the meetings and stated it would be the first step to enhancing economic co-operation between the two countries and elevating it to the level of their excellent bilateral relations in the political sphere. The two sides also agreed to boost bilateral exchange of goods and services.
The Joint Economic Committee also proposed the formation of a Spain-UAE Business Council to strengthen the ongoing co-operation between business communities in the two countries. The UAE proposed signing a memorandum of understanding to this effect. Exchange of visits by business delegations and mutual support for initiatives of the business communities in both countries was also discussed.
Trade negotiations between the European Union and the GCC came up for discussion and the Committee decided to work towards resuming and expediting the negotiations in light of the positive impact it is expected to have on bilateral trade and investment.
The need for co-operation in the aviation sector was emphasises by the Joint Economic Committee and the UAE requested to have open skies between the countries as well as the freedom for its national carriers to carry passengers from Spain to other countries.
It was also decided to promote flow of investment between Spain and the UAE and the two sides exchanged information on their respective investment regimes, including concessions. The Joint Economic Committee underlined the importance of public-private partnerships in bilateral relations and agreed to look at holding a seminar on public-private partnerships in the near future.
Projects of common interest and importance to each country where presented at the meeting and both sides agreed to intensify bilateral investment through joint ventures in the sectors identified by each country.
The Spanish side expressed their interest to continue working with the UAE in the infrastructure, railway, energy, environment and renewable energy, tourism, technology and health sectors, where Spanish companies have demonstrated experience, technology and leadership.
The sectors where the UAE side expressed its readiness to share its expertise were the following: infrastructure; financial services including Islamic financing; energy including sustainable and renewable energy; information and communication technology; knowledge economy; health and life science; new and emerging technologies including nanotechnology; tourism development and hospitality management; real estate; and education and training.
Spain praised the assistance provided by the UAE for Spanish companies to develop feasibility studies in the renewable energy sector and expressed its willingness to finance similar studies in areas of common interest. The UAE side reaffirmed that its renewable energy sector provides tangible business opportunities for Spanish companies and offered to provide a list of projects on which it wants to have feasibility studies conducted.
An appropriate mechanism will be established and quarterly reports exchanged by both countries to follow up on the progress of the topics agreed at the Joint Economic Committee meeting.
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