Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, today met Frank Mollen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UAE.
The meeting was attended by Lucille Merks, Deputy Head of Mission at the Netherlands Embassy, and Tareq Al-Marzouqi, Director of Government Communication, Minister of Economy.
During the meeting, they discussed cooperation between the two countries and ways to strengthen economic and trade ties. Discussions were focused on the seven sectors of the national strategy for innovation: renewable energy, transport, healthcare, education, technology, water, and space.
It was decided at the meeting that a high level trade delegation from the UAE headed by Minister of Economy will visit the Netherlands with the aim of introducing the UAE to investment prospects in the Netherlands and promote the nation’s enabling investment environment. A decision was also taken for the UAE and the Netherlands to sign a collaborative agreement to advance innovation in the SME sector in both countries.
Al-Mansouri said relations with the Netherlands has been growing steadily in recent years, and is poised for further growth. He added that trade between the UAE and the Netherlands increased from US$3.086 billion in 2013 to US$3.924 billion in 2014. Currently, a total of 69 Dutch companies, as well as165 Dutch trade agencies and 4145 trademarks are registered in the UAE. Combined Dutch investments in the UAE are estimated to value over US$5.6 billion.
The Minister of Economy confirmed his keenness to benefit from Dutch expertise and capabilities to drive the UAE’s transformation into a sustainable knowledge based economy with innovation as a central component.
Mr. Mollen commended the UAE’s advancements and vision stating that the country has emerged as a role model for economic diversification in the region. The Dutch ambassador said the UAE is a very important strategic partner for the Netherlands given the shared vision and mutual aspirations for development. He highlighted the opportunities available for UAE investments in the Netherlands, noting that his country is the second largest exporter of food products in the world and a major exporter of knowledge, experience and technology.
He applauded the success of Dutch companies in the UAE, noting remarkable development at the levels of service offered to foreign investors and companies. He drew the UAE Minister of Economy’s attention to a few challenges faced by Dutch firms. The two sides agreed to work together to address the challenges to make the UAE an even more attractive environment for Dutch investors.
The UAE is directing large investments into infrastructure projects that offer lucrative opportunities to Dutch enterprises, especially in the engineering, renewable energy, smart grids, energy efficiency, environment and technology domains.