Emirati-Swiss bilateral economic ties celebrated at Embassy inauguration ceremony

ABU DHABI, 22nd February 2015 (WAM) – The Embassy of Switzerland in the UAE officially inaugurated its new Abu Dhabi on Thursday by unveiling a plaque in the presence of guests of honour, Badr Abdullah Saeed Al Matrooshi, Director of European Affairs Department at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary for Economic Affairs of Switzerland, as well as other UAE dignitaries, prominent business people and foreign diplomatic representatives.

Andrea Reichlin, Ambassador of Switzerland in the UAE, delivered the opening welcome remarks, followed by Ineichen-Fleisch, who gave a short address to the assembled dignitaries, before jointly unveiling the ceremonial plaque with Mr. Al Matrooshi.

“The UAE and Switzerland have a long history of successful diplomatic relations and a mutual appreciation of the myriad benefits of cross-cultural co-operation. We are equally dedicated to the fostering of solid trade and economic relations, as well as the promotion of cultural and political interests to stakeholders from both nations,” said Ineichen-Fleisch.

“Bilateral relations between our two countries were augmented in 2012 with the inauguration of the UAE Embassy in Berne, so today’s inauguration here in Abu Dhabi symbolises a new era of enhanced relationships and our long term commitment to supporting new trade opportunities and increasing numbers of Swiss businesses, residents and tourists here,” she added.

Swiss exports to the UAE have grown steadily in the last few years, rising from AED8 billion in 2010 to over AED 13.3 billion in 2013. The UAE is Switzerland’s top export market within the GCC, with AED4.9 billion-worth of jewellery and precious metals the top ranked exports in 2013, just ahead of AED3.83 billion of watch exports.

As part of her official visit, Ineichen-Fleisch met with His Excellency Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy with Mohamed Meer Abdulla Yousif Alraeesi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as with senior officials of the Federal Customs Authority to discuss ways of further enhancing the fruitful bilateral relations between the two countries and other topics of mutual interest.

Currently, there are around 300-400 Swiss companies registered in the UAE and with compatible growth in the number of Swiss nationals relocating to the UAE, the new larger embassy premises, conveniently located in the Centro Capital Center office building, adjacent to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, offers the full scope of embassy and consular services.

“Our new embassy is a focal point for high-level visits and exchanges and we are looking forward to exploring future opportunities for successful co-operation with the UAE Government, not only in terms of bilateral trade but in key areas such as technology, humanitarian aid and development, science, education and the arts,” concluded Ineichen-Fleisch.

The Swiss Ambassador also presented Awards of Excellence in the Furthering of Bilateral Interests to a number of senior UAE government departments, authorities and free zones including Jebel Ali Free Zone, Health Authority – Abu Dhabi, Dubai Health Authority, Ministry of Economy, Dubai Customs, Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority and Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone.