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null H.E. Bin Touq and Singaporean Minister of Transport discuss cooperation in transport, trade, tourism, entrepreneurship & digital economy

10 Feb 2023

H.E. Bin Touq and Singaporean Minister of Transport discuss cooperation in transport, trade, tourism, entrepreneurship & digital economy



Non-oil foreign trade between the two countries amounted to AED 14 billion in the first nine months of 2022



 H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, held a meeting with S. Iswaran, Minister for Transport & Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations in Singapore. The meeting saw the two ministers explore means to enhance existing cooperation between the two countries. Opportunities to develop new partnerships in priority sectors such as transport, trade, tourism, entrepreneurship, SMEs, and digital economy were discussed.


H.E. Bin Touq confirmed that the UAE, led by the vision and directives of its wise leadership, remains keen to strengthen constructive cooperation with its global partners. The country is currently diversifying its existing economic and trade ties with partners, generating new growth opportunities that support its vision for inclusive development.


The Minister of Economy added: “The UAE and Singapore share many commonalities, particularly on the economic front. For instance, both countries have realized their visions to become global hubs for trade, investments, business, and tourism. In addition, both have succeeded in capitalizing on their strategic geographical locations and have built highly developed and flexible infrastructure, technology and legislative systems. Besides, both the UAE and Singapore have advanced service sectors and enjoy distinguished partnerships with various countries.”


The non-oil foreign trade between the two countries amounted to AED 14 billion in the first nine months of 2022, up 29.6 per cent from AED 15 billion during the same period of 2021.

Singapore's total FDI in the UAE amounted to nearly AED 8 billion until the beginning of 2021 with 43 per cent growth compared to the beginning of 2013.

Furthermore, the UAE and Singapore share strong ties in the field of air transport, supported by the ‘open skies’ agreement signed between them. Today, the UAE’s national airlines operate 28 flights to Singapore per week, while Singapore Airlines operates 14 weekly flights to the UAE. The total number of weekly direct flights connecting the two destinations is 42.

H.E. Bin Touq said: “There exist promising opportunities to enhance trade and investment partnerships between the UAE and Singapore in the sectors of the new economy, including technology, advanced applications, and digital trade. By exploring them, we will be able to drive the growth of these sectors in both countries. Apart from that, it will help solidify the UAE's status as a digital economy hub at the regional and global levels, in line with our goals for the next 50 years.”

During the meeting, H.E. Bin Touq highlighted the UAE's vision for tourism growth through the launch of the National Tourism Strategy 2031. It aims to elevate the country’s tourism identity to be the best globally, consolidate its position as a leading tourism destination, increase the sector’s contribution to the GDP to AED 450 billion by 2031, and attract AED 100 billion tourism investments and 40 million hotel guests to the UAE.

Besides, H.E. Bin Touq explained the incentives and opportunities offered by The Entrepreneurial Nation project to entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs through its three main tracks, namely, the SkillUp Academy,  StartUp, and the ScaleUp platforms. The project plays a key role in supporting the UAE’s efforts to enhance its entrepreneurship environment.

The two sides agreed to form a joint task force to facilitate the exchange of experiences and enhance cooperation in the field of entrepreneurship through The Entrepreneurial Nation project. It will help capitalize on the capabilities offered by the project in creating new growth opportunities for startups in the two countries and enhancing their access to global markets.

H.E. S Iswaran said: “Singapore and the UAE enjoy a strong trade and economic relationship, backed by several programs of cooperation and solid partnerships that bring the two countries together at the government and private sector levels.”

He added that thanks to the shared aspirations of both leaderships to elevate existing cooperation to new heights, opportunities for cooperation are growing, especially in areas such as the digital economy and SMEs. He further pointed out that Singapore is keen to enhance joint efforts with the UAE to support comprehensive digital trade, enable reliable data flow and create opportunities in the digital economy space.

During the meeting, the two ministers also agreed on the importance of enhancing openness to foreign markets, acknowledging the importance of joint efforts in offering a supportive and encouraging environment for foreign companies and investments. They have a direct impact on the competitiveness of the economy and support sustainable development, especially in light of global economic shifts.

The meeting also discussed the UAE’s efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of its energy sector to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, including the launch of the UAE Net Zero 2050 strategic initiative and increasing reliance on eco-friendly aircrafts. The UAE is currently working on the implementation of the 22 policies developed by its Circular Economy Policy Committee to enhance the diversity and sustainability of the national economy.

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