Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy of the UAE, and Jaime Garcia-Legaz Ponce, Spain's Secretary of State for Trade, on Sunday met to discuss ways of increasing trade between their two countries and enhance cooperation in the areas of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), food security and transport.
Al Mansouri said that relations between the UAE and Spain are making remarkable progress and that the two countries share a common desire of advancing these relations to unprecedented levels.
He added that thanks to these fruitful and positive relations, trade between the UAE and Spain grew by 90 percent between 2009-2014, rising from one billion euros to 1.9 billion euros, said Al Mansouri noting that 40 registered Spanish companies and 73 trade agencies operate in the UAE with 1,456 trademarks from the European country.
The two parties also discussed ways of implementing the resolutions of the third session of meetings of the UAE-Spain Joint Economic Committee which was held in Granada, Spain, in March.
They also discussed ways to encourage Spanish companies to open offices in the UAE to benefit from the opportunities offered by Dubai Expo 2020.
The two officials also discussed ways of enhancing cooperation on innovation, an area Al Mansouri described as a priority for the UAE government which seeks to turn the country into a regional and global hub for this sector.
He urged for stronger relations between the business communities of the UAE and Spain.
Al Mansouri also noted that the UAE's construction industry is set to grow by 9.3 percent this year to reach Dh155 billion worth of projects, up from Dh143 billion last year.
On his part, Mr. Ponce said that Spain looks forward to stronger cooperation with the UAE on food security, agriculture and transport. He noted that the Spanish Region of Murcia can serve as a logistic hub for transporting crop produce and food products.
Ponce noted that the expertise of Spain's Ineco, a global leader in transport engineering and consultancy working with the Spanish Ministry of Public Works and Transport, can be tapped for stronger transport cooperation with the UAE.