UAE and Malta look to expand areas of partnership and develop economic cooperation by focusing on future sectors
Minister of Economy leads high-profile UAE delegation to Malta
H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; H.E. Robert Abela, Prime Minister of Malta; and H.E. Silvio Schembri, Maltese Minister for Economy and Industry; discussed ways to develop frameworks for joint economic cooperation, diversify existing areas of partnership, and increase the volume of trade and investment flows to support economic growth in the two friendly countries.
The meeting took place during the visit of the UAE delegation, led by H.E. Bin Touq, to Italy and Malta, from 6 to 11 February.
The meeting was attended by H.E. Sameh Al Qubaisi, Director General of Economic Affairs at the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, along with officials from the government and the private sectors.
H.E. Robert Abela, Prime Minister of Malta, said that the bilateral relations between the Republic of Malta and the UAE are strong and based on a mutual desire to further strengthen and develop them in the development sectors.
H.E. Bin Touq said: "We attach great importance to increasing the volume of trade and investment exchanges with the Republic of Malta and making use of its expertise in the technical and digital industries and digital games. We are keen to increase the level of bilateral coordination to facilitate the exchange of tourism movement and the flow of goods and commodities between the two countries and invest in promising opportunities for cooperation and partnerships."
He added: “We are moving forward with a clear economic vision that focuses on establishing the position of the UAE as a world-leading trade and investment destination, increasing the volume of non-oil foreign trade, and promoting sustainable growth within sectors and areas that are essential pillars for the future economy based on innovation and knowledge. We will continue our cooperative efforts with our partners to establish a smart economy, develop policies and initiatives supporting entrepreneurship and stimulating investment, and lead the digital transition within trade, industry, logistics, and supply chains. "
H.E. also extended an invitation to H.E. the Prime Minister of Malta to attend the “Investopia” Summit, to be hosted by the country on the 28th of March.
Meanwhile, H.E. Silvio Schembri confirmed Malta's commitment to supporting cooperation efforts with the UAE in various development and technological sectors. He said: “The UAE is a major partner of Malta in new and emerging economic sectors. The past years have seen significant growth in bilateral relations, and we are seeking to preserve and promote it towards more advanced levels."
During the meeting, both sides underlined the need to advance joint action to strengthen cooperation in the aviation sector and discussed the opportunities presented by new sectors in the areas of digital transformation and the green economy.
H.E. Sameh Al Qubaisi, Director General for Economic Affairs at the Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi, said: “The UAE is a prime example of economic recovery, transformation, and diversification at the same time, and our meeting today with our partners in Malta is set to establish a cooperative relationship that offers Abu Dhabi's vast economic potential to the Maltese private sector. The UAE welcomes international investors, and thanks to its global infrastructure and governance standards as well as its strategic position, it is seen as the best option for global companies seeking to expand into the markets of the Middle East.”
“We have come a long way in our quest to reduce the cost and complexities of doing business in the UAE capital. We have greatly facilitated the process of setting up of companies, their licensing, public subscription, financing, and the capacity to fully own and operate them smoothly without complications. We have also eliminated a wide range of requirements, consolidated processes, modified and reformed regulations to ensure that investors can benefit from the concessions offered by the Abu Dhabi market, and its strategic location close to other fastest growing global markets.”
In addition, H.E. Bin Touq and his accompanying delegation paid a field visit to the Digital Games Incubator’s headquarter, during which H.E. the Minister of Economy met with Dr. Carl Brincat, CEO of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and Mr. Ivan Felletti, Head of Operations of the Gaming Malta Foundation.
The UAE delegation was briefed on the advanced digital and sports systems. H.E. Bin Touq, together with Dr. Carl Brincat and Mr. Ivan Felletti, also explored ways to build on Malta’s experience in digital games and strengthen cooperation between the two friendly countries by focusing on the promising elements, incentives, and opportunities in their economic environments, particularly in the digital transformation sectors and in the areas of innovation and modern advanced technology.
The UAE Minister of Economy emphasized the strong relationship between the two friendly countries and the increased level of cooperation and exchange of experience within priority sectors; electronic and technical industries, tourism, entrepreneurship, and advanced technology.
The UAE is the number one trading partner of the Republic of Malta within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The value of foreign trade between the two countries reached more than half a billion dollars (USD 582 million) and accounts for nearly 52% of Malta's imports from the GCC States, and 52% of its total foreign trade with the Arab countries. The two countries are linked to several conventions that promote air transport cooperation, most notably an air services agreement, connected by three direct flights per week operated by the UAE’s Emirates airline.