Khaleej Times - 8/5/2006
The free trade agreement of GCC with European Union will spur bilateral investment between the UAE and Germany, which has already doubled to $4.3 billion last year from $2.6 billion in 2002, said Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy.
She was speaking at a joint Press conference with Michael Glos, German Federal Minister of Economy, at the start of the UAE-German Business Forum in Abu Dhabi.
Glos is heading a high level business delegation to the UAE, to explore business opportunities in the country.
Shaikha Lubna said that there is a need for more joint investments from both Germany and the UAE to further boost bilateral trade. She said the next session of economic forum will be held in Munich.
She commented that the economic relations between the two countries are flourishing as the UAE has become world's third largest re-export hub for 1 billion people of the subcontinent, Gulf and Middle East. She added that there is a desire to improve cooperation with Germany better known for high-tech technology.
Shaikha Lubna also said that the UAE trade with Germany has jumped from $2.6 billion in 2002 to $4.3 billion in 2005.
To a question, she said that UAE, which has liberalised its regulatory framework in recent years, has managed to attract around $18 billion in foreign direct investment last year, and said the more the country will ease out regulations the more trade and investment would be boosted. She said: "The German companies can take advantage of the growing economy by setting up base here, as there is a huge potential in the tourism and construction sector," she added.
To a question about any negative impact of Iran's worsening situation on the UAE economy, she said there is no denying the fact that the situation is getting serious there and the UAE and other regional countries are wanted an amicable political solution, which is in the best interest of all.
The German Economic Minister said that his country would continue to build on its good relations with the UAE as done by the former governments.
He also talked about an existing possibility for an agreement between the GCC and the European Union that may take place in future, which will further boost the existing economic ties between the two regions.