UAE, Belgium discuss economic co-operation

ABU DHABI: Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, has received Ambassador of Belgium to the UAE, Dominic Mineur, in his office at the ministry.

The parties discussed expanding cooperation and economic ties between the two countries, including seeking opportunities to further boost cooperation in trade, industrial, agricultural, tourism, as well as among small and medium enterprises.

Al Mansouri also praised the bilateral relations between the UAE and Belgium, which is growing, citing the joint efforts to boost cooperation in various economic, industrial, investment and tourist fields.

He added that the two countries’ economies remain flexible, open and attractive for foreign investment, as he called for taking advantage of available economic opportunities to encourage mutual investment and joint projects.

Regarding development of bilateral economic ties, Al Mansouri said that bilateral relations between the two countries are witnessing continuous development and progress, adding that last year the total non-oil trade between the two countries reached $7.74 billion, which constitutes 9 per cent of the total trade with the European Union, which stands at $ 42.5 during the same period.

He went on to say that Belgium retains 11th place on the list of most important trade partners of the UAE, ranking 13th in imports and 35th in exports, whereas Belgium ranks 3rd among countries that receives Emirati re-exports.

Al Mansouri also said that the total number of registered companies from Belgium in the Ministry of Economy stood at 34, with 54 commercial agencies, in addition to 551 trade brands.

He also focused attention on the UAE Ministry of Economy’s enthusiasm in expanding cooperation with all UAE partners, wishing to benefit from western expertise in building a knowledge-based economy, while exploiting the nation’s human resources.

Ambassador Dominic Mineur hailed the notable development of the UAE in various fields, especially in trade and economy during the 43 years of the Union, highlighting the UAE’s economic indicators and pioneering stature throughout the world.

She also praised the far-sighted vision of the UAE’ s wise leadership, which she described as one on the important factors leading to the UAE’s economic renaissance and successive achievements.