UAE Minister of Economy opens third meeting of UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee
Rushika Bhatia

UAE Minister of Economy opens third meeting of UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee

His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and His Excellency Shaheen Mustaphiaaph, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economic Development, opened the first session of the third meeting of the UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee in the presence of senior officials of both countries.

Mr Al Mansouri said: “This meeting marks the beginning of a new era of stronger economic cooperation between the UAE and Azerbaijan. The UAE has achieved significant qualitative shifts in social and economic growth in the last decades, led by the vision of its wise leadership. The UAE leaders focus on enhancing the role of the private sector and have introduced legislations and laws to strengthen development by implementing the latest technologies and raising the standard of supporting services.”

He added: “All these have shaped a robust business-friendly environment in the UAE that attracts major investments from around the world. Additionally, the inception of free zones, zero income taxes, the flexibility and efficiency of the banking sector, and political stability make the UAE a model of pride and glory among Arab countries.”

Mr Al Mansouri said Azerbaijan is a model for economic diversification and the UAE is looking forward to come up with best results from the meeting by removing obstacles that might affect trade flow between the two countries. “We are looking forward to raise cooperation in exchanging investments and to guide entrepreneurs from both countries to meet together and explore investment opportunities”.

UAE Minister of Economy opens third meeting of UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee
Minister of Economy opens third meeting of UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee to strengthen bilateral cooperation

“Following the previous session of the Committee held in the UAE in 2009, we were able to make remarkable progress in expanding our bilateral co-operation. We were also able to identify areas where we can create synergies to drive growth within our respective regions and beyond. Worldwide, economies are now looking for new opportunities to achieve growth that is durable and resilient to crises. With our extensive energy resources and commitment to reforms and economic diversification, Azerbaijan and the UAE can be partners in stimulating sustainable growth. This session, therefore, has a historic mission to take us to a completely new level of engagement,” he added.

Mr Al Mansouri said trade between the UAE and Azerbaijan grew by 22% to USD 245 million (Dh899.9m) in 2008, from USD 200m in 2004. “A major focus of the UAE’s investment policies and development strategy today is ensuring food security for our growing population. Azerbaijan is blessed with vast stretches of agricultural land, which the UAE is interested to tap into for ensuring easily accessible, steady source of food. UAE investors can help bring in advanced technology, create more jobs and optimise yield in Azerbaijan’s agricultural sector. Azerbaijan, with its industrial expertise, and proximity to key markets in Central Asia, Europe and Russia, can complement our efforts to develop industries and emerge as a global supplier,” he added.

The UAE has an advanced aviation infrastructure, including the fastest growing airports and airlines in the world. Excellent air connectivity, transit facilities and a vibrant hospitality and leisure industry has enabled the country to maintain double digit growth in tourist arrivals and hotel occupancies even amidst the global slowdown phase. “Over the next ten years the UAE will invest heavily in its aviation infrastructure to improve connectivity and cementing our reputation as a key growth driver in global aviation,” said Mr Al Mansouri.

“We are keen to share our knowledge and strengths in the tourism and travel trade with Azerbaijan, which we believe will emerge as one of the most attractive destinations in the world for business as well as leisure. Flydubai, one of our fast-growing national carriers, already connects Baku to the UAE. A major driver of economic progress in the UAE is our transport infrastructure, which in turn powers our thriving logistics sector.”

“Our current focus is on creating a robust legal and policy framework in the UAE to bring more investments into the promising growth sectors. The Ministry of Economy is in the final stages of drafting new laws and modifying existing ones on Competition, Foreign Investment, Arbitration, Intellectual Property, Companies, Industries and SMEs,” said Mr Al Mansouri.