UAE and Hungary launch economic cooperation programme
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UAE and Hungary launch economic cooperation programme

UAE and Hungary launch economic cooperation programme

The agreement covers cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, SMEs, energy, tourism, technology, space and education among other areas

Gulf Business

The UAE and Hungary agreed on a nine-pronged economic cooperation programme during the third Joint Economic Committee meeting held recently between the two countries in Dubai.

The programme covers the development of cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, talent attraction and small and medium-sized enterprises, water resource management, energy and renewable energy, tourism and culture, logistics and supply, research and technology, space and education.

The committee’s meeting was chaired by Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, representing the UAE government, and Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and several other government and private sector representatives from both countries were also present.

Robust bilateral ties

During the meeting, Al Marri highlighted the strength and resilience of the bilateral relations between the UAE and Hungary. He said: “The UAE is the largest Arab trading partner of Hungary, accounting for 22 per cent of Hungary’s total trade with the Arab countries in 2020. Furthermore, the two countries are striving to elevate this partnership to new heights in various priority sectors.”

The value of non-oil foreign trade between the UAE and Hungary during 2021 amounted to Dhs2bn, achieving a growth of 19 per cent compared to 2020, and by 26 per cent compared to 2019, which reflects high levels of growth despite the challenges of the Covid pandemic. The volume of mutual investments between the two countries amounted to about Dhs4bn.

Al Marri said: “The third session of the committee served as an important platform for working towards this common goal and agreeing on a roadmap to establish a new phase of economic and trade cooperation. This will be achieved through clear frameworks that will strengthen links and mechanisms for cooperation at the public, corporate and private levels, thereby achieving the development and prosperity aspirations of both countries.”

Al Marri also underlined the importance of developing sustainable and long-term cooperation between the two countries in line with the new global economic developments by creating more partnership opportunities between the UAE and Hungarian business communities in the technology and digital transformation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

These efforts are important to driving the sustainable economic growth of both countries, he said, noting Hungary’s significance as an important economic partner of the UAE in the Central and Eastern European region.

He added the two countries will work jointly during the next phase to enhance trade and investments exchanges in various sectors of common interest.

In addition, the Minister of Economy reviewed the most recent developments and achievements in the economic environment of the UAE and briefed the Hungarian side on the recent initiatives and pilot projects launched by the country to support its future vision.

Most notably, these included the ‘Projects of the 50,’ the efforts to transition into a new, more sustainable, and flexible economic model, and the comprehensive developments in economic legislation to facilitate business and enhance the country’s attractiveness to leading enterprises, world-class companies, talent and innovation.

Al Marri also called upon Hungarian companies and investors to explore the many advantages and attractive incentives offered by the UAE business environment and to take advantage of the strategic location and position of the UAE as a dynamic hub for trade, investment, and business and a vital gateway to Middle Eastern, Asian and African markets.

During the session, the UAE also commended Hungary’s active participation in the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai, which serves as a multi-dimensional platform that provides the country an opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations with the UAE as well as with other global partners.

Strategic partners

Commenting on the relationship between the two countries, Szijjártó said: “The UAE is a key strategic partner of Hungary in the region, and we look forward to promoting bilateral cooperation between the two countries in all vital sectors and areas of development. The third UAE-Hungary Joint Economic Committee has achieved significant progress in establishing well-defined frameworks and developing key programmes to enhance the bilateral cooperation agenda in priority areas, most prominently trade and space.”

Szijjártó added: “It [the committee] places equal emphasis on fostering cooperation between the private sector organisations in both countries. This will enhance our partnership in the next phase, making it more resilient, diversified, and sustainable from both economic and trade perspectives.”

Agreements in place

The preparatory meetings of the committee during the last period witnessed work on a number of programmes and projects to consolidate the bonds of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in a number of vital fields.

These efforts resulted in five agreements and memoranda of understanding that were agreed to be signed between the relevant institutions of the two sides in the fields of encouragement and mutual protection of investments, cooperation in space research and space activities for peaceful purposes, and cooperation between the chambers of commerce and industry of the two countries, among other areas.

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