UAE, Spain to bolster economic ties

The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, has met with Spanish Secretary of State for Trade, Xiana Mendez, to discuss ways to boost economic cooperation and diversify into sectors of common interest. The meeting covered investment exchanges in areas such as entrepreneurship, tourism, innovation, technology, food security, real estate, logistics, mining, transformative industries, and renewable energy.

The minister highlighted the historical ties between the two nations and stated that both countries were keen to strengthen working relations regarding their respective economic development visions. He emphasised that the bilateral trade figures demonstrate the rapid growth of UAE-Spain economic relations, with non-oil trade exchanges exceeding $2.6 billion in 2022.

Al-Zeyoudi also noted that Spain became the UAE’s third-biggest European partner in 2022, receiving 8% of the UAE’s total non-oil exports to EU countries. The Spanish market is a key global market that enjoys special attention from the UAE’s business community, he said, adding that the UAE’s total investments in Spain reached approximately $3.8 billion by the end of 2021, while Spanish foreign direct investment in the UAE totalled $72 million by the end of 2020.

The UAE market provides opportunities and incentives that can help Spanish companies grow in the UAE and the wider Middle East and North Africa region, Al-Zeyoudi said. He invited the Spanish private sector to take advantage of the benefits and incentives available in the UAE to promote economic cooperation.

Legislative changes in the UAE include the granting of full foreign ownership, improved intellectual property protection, and the launch of an ambitious strategy to attract talented and creative individuals to all sectors, bolstering the nation’s position as a creative and innovative hub. The two parties discussed ways to help businesses access opportunities in both markets, with Al-Zeyoudi highlighting his country’s efforts to transition to a sustainable knowledge economy based on innovation.

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