Ministers of "WAM": The visit of the head of state to France is a strong boost to the strategic partnership between the two countries
Ministers affirmed the strength of the UAE-France relations, which are witnessing continuous development in various fields and sectors, based on the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two friendly countries.
The ministers said in statements to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) that the visit of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the French Republic constitutes a strong impetus to the existing strategic partnership and gives a clear indication of the desire of the leadership of the two countries to raise the horizons of cooperation to more advanced and prosperous levels.
For his part, His Excellency Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said that the UAE and France have a close link to build bridges of cooperation and advance the process of sustainable development, noting that the visit of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to France comes within the framework of the two countries' well-established relations, which are growing stronger and solid, and explore new opportunities for cooperation across various sectors to drive economic growth and address common challenges.
His Excellency added that the visit is of great importance in light of the Year of Sustainability and in the run-up to the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP<>), in light of which the UAE is mobilizing collective efforts towards building a sustainable and prosperous world while providing natural resources for all.
His Excellency pointed out that the leaderships of the two countries have placed the best interests of their people and the environment at the heart of national strategies and at the same time are taking confident steps to ensure that the energy transition process is on track to achieve the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.
Al Mazrouei highlighted the importance of such high-level visits as they play a key role in aligning visions and objectives and shaping the way for strategic cooperation.
His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, said that the UAE and France enjoy strong and distinguished strategic relations based on a historical heritage based on friendship, mutual respect and continuous partnership.
He added: "The two countries have succeeded in developing aspects of cooperation in various development sectors of mutual interest, including political, economic, trade, cultural and educational cooperation, which has given bilateral relations a fertile ground for continued growth and development since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1971 until now."
His Excellency stressed that the visit of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the French Republic constitutes a strong impetus to the existing strategic partnership and gives a clear indication of the desire of the leadership of the two countries to raise the horizons of cooperation to more advanced and prosperous levels.
Bin Touq said that the strength of bilateral relations between the two countries was reflected in the economic and trade ties, which have become more solid and stronger, explaining that the UAE hosts the largest number of French institutions operating in the Middle East, which is estimated at about 600 companies, employing more than 30,<> employees.
He pointed out that French investments in the UAE are concentrated in sectors that serve the state's directions aimed at promoting investment in the sectors of the new economy, including energy, clean energy, climate work, transport and logistics, manufacturing and advanced technology, as well as existing cooperation in the education, health, environment and other fields that serve the sustainable development agenda of both friendly countries.
His Excellency explained that the prospects of joint cooperation carry more trade and investment opportunities, calling on the UAE and French business sectors to study the opportunities and see the incentives and facilities offered by the markets of the two countries to develop more development companies to serve the future plans and visions of the two friendly countries.
Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, stressed that the UAE-France relations are witnessing remarkable development in various vital fields and files of common interest, noting that the UAE-France cooperation is one of the most important pillars of global climate and environmental action efforts.
Her Excellency said that the French Republic is one of the most important players in the field of climate change, which was evident through its hosting of the United Nations Climate Conference COP21 in 2015, which resulted in the "Paris Climate Agreement", which is one of the most important global climate agreements. The UAE was the first country in the Middle East to sign a binding agreement to reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change in 2016. In line with the UAE's commitments to the agreement, the UAE submitted the updated version of the second NDC report to support the objectives of the UAE's strategic initiative to achieve climate neutrality by 2050."
On the other hand, the United Nations Climate Conference COP28, hosted by the UAE this year, will witness the first global outcome to assess progress in implementing the objectives of the agreement, which means that the two countries have converged visions on finding binding and practical solutions to reduce global emissions and face the challenges of climate change.
Her Excellency added that the UAE-France cooperation is embodied in the field of climate through several joint projects, the most important of which is the launch of a joint program to develop sustainable business opportunities for investment with the aim of accelerating clean energy solutions, especially in the field of decarbonization of sectors and the use of clean hydrogen solutions in the field of mobility. Other partnerships between the two countries have contributed to the development, investment and operation of more than 6.2 GW of clean and renewable energy projects around the world, including two projects in the UAE that are among the largest single-site solar projects in the world, in addition to investments worth $ 6 billion, and contribute to avoiding carbon emissions estimated at 10 million tons per year.
Her Excellency stressed that the visit of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to France will be fruitful, saying: "Through the visit, we look forward to further cooperation with the French side, especially in files of common interest, including global climate action in the coming period, especially with the approaching COP28 climate conference in the UAE this year.
For his part, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said that the UAE and France enjoy close trade and investment relations. He pointed out that non-oil intra-oil trade recorded 8 billion US dollars in 2022, an increase of 21% compared to 2021, a record growth of 49% compared to 2020, and an increase of 6% compared to 2019, which confirms the upward trend of trade flows between the two friendly countries over the past years, despite the relative decline in international trade during some of these years.
His Excellency said that the trade and investment partnership between the two friendly countries is witnessing remarkable positive developments thanks to the strong relations between the leaderships of the two countries, pointing out that France is the fourth largest trading partner of the UAE among the European Union countries and comes in fourth place in re-export operations, sixth place in receiving UAE non-oil exports and third place among the largest European Union countries exporting UAE imports.
His Excellency added that France is the largest investor in the UAE among the European Union countries with a total foreign direct investment of $ 4.4 billion by the end of 2020 and a share of 20% of the total European Union investments in the country, while the total UAE investments in France reached $ 3.3 billion by the end of 2021.