On February 18, 2013 Russia and the United Arab Emirates signed an agreement on cooperation in trade, economy and technology sectors. The document was signed by H.E.Denis Manturov, Minster of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, and H.H. Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the UAE.
In his welcome address to the heads and members of the Russian delegation H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed noted that the meeting between Russian and Emirati delegations reflected the high level of trust between our countries and country leaders and confirmed a mutual interest in developing bilateral relations. According to H.H.Sheikh Abdullah, the Russian visit was timed to the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in the UAE that saw active participation of Russian companies, which the Emirati government regarded with high appreciation. Therefore the United Arab Emirates was proud to witness development of ties with Russia in many different spheres, recent signing of agreements on double taxation avoidance and the development of nuclear energy being two examples of this progress. Therefore the UAE looked forward to further develop cooperation with Russia in economic, defense, cultural, and political sector, while many Emirati companies were interested in Russian markets. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the UAE said that the current volume of investment of his country in the Russian economy reached USD 2,2 billion, noting that this volume could grow exponentially with regard to the high level of trust between our two friendly countries.
H.H.Sheikh Abdullah added that development of air travel between our countries was one of the easiest ways to increase investment and trade between Russia and the UAE. Therefore he suggested that a new round of negotiations be opened between companies interested in the development of tourism and aviation sectors and that the bilateral agreement signed in this regard in 2007 should be put to action.
The Minister of Foreign Relations also suggested establishing a workgroup overseeing the process of finding solutions to all issues in priority sectors, developing cooperation mechanisms, and thus contributing to the efficient and rapid development of bilateral ties.
During his speech at the meeting, H.E.Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation noted that the UAE were considered a serious and promising partner for Russia in the Gulf region. Russian officials and businessmen highly regard the determination of our Emirati partners to develop the quality of bilateral ties, and both countries have huge potential for growth in trade and economic relations.
H.E.Denis Manturov indicated that currently bilateral trade between Russia and UAE was stable, and the trade turnover had reached USD 1,5 billion in 2011, while during the first 11 months of 2012 it reached USD 1,3 billion, adding that both sides should more actively pursue the goal of diversification of trade, sustaining a regular dialogue, and launch more new projects, paying particular attention to the upgrading of the legal base of our relations.
Speaking about the areas of cooperation between our countries with notable prospects for development, Mr. Manturov paid specific attention to the fuel and energy sector, nuclear energy, industry, construction, transportation, infrastructure, and telecommunications. He also said that cooperation in the investment field became increasingly prominent, while the establishment of practical cooperation between Emirati sovereign wealth funds and Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR) was considered an important step in this regard.
Minister of Industry and Trade named a number of successful projects implemented in the UAE with active participation of Russian companies, including Stroytransgaz and Metallinvest, noting that he was sure the number of such projects would soon increase, while the high level meetings and negotiations would contribute to the establishment of strong foundation for cooperation and identification of new promising areas for cooperation.