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null H.E. Bin Touq explores diversification of economic partnership with northern Italy in advanced technology & industrial sectors

08 Feb 2022


H.E. Bin Touq explores diversification of economic partnership with northern Italy in advanced technology & industrial sectors


  • Minister of Economy leads a high-level UAE economic delegation to Italy


  • UAE delegation embarks on field visits to northern Italy’s major industrial & technological parks in the fields of automobiles, food, health care, IT and space



H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, is leading the official visit of a high-level UAE government and business delegation to Italy from 6th to 11th February. The visiting delegation will conduct several bilateral meetings with heads of regional governments and senior economic and business leaders in Italy, in addition to undertaking field visits to advanced industrial and technological parks in both the city of Milan in northern Italy and the capital city Rome.

The visit is aimed at reviewing various aspects of the existing cooperation between the two countries, the prospects for its future development, and emerging opportunities for economic partnerships at the governmental and private levels to serve the development objectives of both sides.

During his visit to Milan, H.E. Bin Touq met with H.E. Attilio Fontana, the President of Lombardy, one of the most economically active regions in northern Italy. The meeting was also attended by H.E. Omar Obaid Al Shamsi, Ambassador of the UAE to Italy; Mr. Guido Guidesi, Councilor for Economic Development of Lombardy; and Mr. Alain Ritzi, Regional Procurator for International Relations; who discussed opportunities for strengthening bilateral cooperation and ways to develop it in sectors of mutual interest.

The UAE Minister of Economy noted that there exists promising opportunities to expand bilateral cooperation between the two sides, particularly in the new economic sectors that serve the development agenda of both the UAE and Italy. This must focus on the tools of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, artificial intelligence, and advanced technology in the areas of industry, agriculture, food security, health care, and life sciences, and promote and support the exchange of investments between the two countries, he said.

Furthermore, H.E. Bin Touq commended Lombardy region’s efficient management of the pandemic, underlining the importance of sharing experiences and lessons learned in establishing a sustainable post-Covid19 growth phase and building a strong, flexible, knowledge-based, and innovative economy.

H.E. Bin Touq said: "The UAE has strengthened its efforts to become a number one destination for global investment in the region through constantly updating economic legislation and enhancing our country’s business environment. We launched several pilot initiatives aimed at increasing the attractiveness of the business environment, while simultaneously expanding strategic partnership with a number of promising global markets through comprehensive economic agreements within the Projects of the 50 announced by the UAE government last September."

Meanwhile, H.E. Fontana praised the excellent organization of Expo 2020 Dubai, noting that it offers a special opportunity to strengthen ties between the business communities of Lombardy and the UAE to pave the way for a significant growth in bilateral economic relations.

H.E. Al Shamsi, Ambassador of the UAE to Italy, noted the importance of H.E. Bin Touq’s visit to Italy, which confirms the UAE’s keenness to strengthen economic relations with the European Union partner. This will be achieved by expanding areas of cooperation to include priority sectors for the next phase, most notably, investments in the space, research, clean energy, entrepreneurship, areas associated with food security, and green and sustainable growth sectors, he said.


The meeting reviewed leading industrial parks in the Lombardy region and the extension of their activities in various sectors to include research and development institutions and startups, which Italy views as an effective means to promote diverse economic sectors. These efforts also help in the creation of networks that enhance opportunities for companies to upgrade their services through integrated and advanced infrastructure and logistics.

In addition, H.E. Bin Touq and his accompanying delegation visited the headquarters of the Italian Trade Agency, where the Minister of Economy met with H.E. Stefano Bonaccini, President of the Province of Emilia Romagna, and Mr. Carlo Ferro, President of the Italian Trade Agency. The province of Emilia Romagna is home to some major industrial parks specializing in the automotive industry, IT, advanced food industries and health care.

During the visit, H.E. Bin Touq discussed opportunities to enhance cooperation and promote mutual flow of investments in innovation, sustainability, and future sectors, including enabling market access for small and medium-sized enterprises. In addition, the meetings also discussed exploration of new opportunities to increase trade and investment exchanges with this strategic region in all vital and new sectors, consistent with both countries' shift towards a more sustainable economic model based on innovation, knowledge, and advanced technology.

The first day's agenda also included a field visit by H.E. Bin Touq and his accompanying economic delegation to the National Competence Centre in Turin, capital of Piedmont in northern Italy.

The Minister of Economy was accompanied by H.E. Alberto Cirio, President of the Piedmont Region, on a tour of the Centre to introduce them to the activities of this vast technological complex, particularly in the areas of robotics, intelligent and advanced manufacturing, the Internet of Things, and augmented and virtual reality technologies.

H.E. Bin Touq underlined the presence of wide-ranging opportunities to develop important economic and investment partnerships between the two sides, serving both nations’ efforts to enable companies and build technological capacities through enhanced access to research infrastructure, public-private partnerships, and the transfer of technology to companies to support the development of innovative solutions.

During the meeting, the UAE delegation was given several introductory presentations by representatives of the main entities in the complex, belonging to various disciplines. These included the presidents of the Polytechnic University of Turin and the University of Turin; representatives of chambers of commerce federations, technology centers, and research institutes; and the CEOs of major public and private sector companies, including Prima Industrie, a leading group in the development, production, and marketing of laser systems for industrial applications. Others included the SPEA Group, which designs and manufactures the automatic machines to test microchips and micro-electromagnetic systems, as well as the leading Thales Alenia Space group in the space sector.


According to Italy’s data, the Lombardy region ranks first in terms of trade relations with the UAE. The region’s exports to the UAE exceed a quarter of the Italian exports to the country, at a rate of 27 per cent, while its total trade exchange with the UAE is more than EUR 1.5 billion. The UAE serves as a major gateway for  Lombardy region’s exports to the markets of the Gulf region, Africa and Asia.

Meanwhile, Emilia-Romagna is the fourth largest Italian region in terms of the volume of exports to the UAE, accounting for 11.3 percent of the total Italian exports to the country.

The most exported sectors are mechanics, automobiles, fashion, plastics and rubber. Emilia-Romagna's exports to the UAE amounted to EUR 495 million in 2020, an increase of 23 per cent, while the imports recorded about EUR 44 million, an increase of 97 per cent.

The UAE is also connected to the regions of northern Italy with direct airlines, with 25 weekly flights to the cities of Milan and Bologna.

Apart from the UAE Ambassador to Italy; H.E. Abdulaziz Al Nuaimi, Assistant Undersecretary, Commercial Affairs Regulatory Sector at the Ministry of Economy; Mohammed Obaid bin Majid, Director of the Department of Industry and Economy in the Government of Fujairah; Jamal Al Jarwan, Secretary General of the Emirates International Investors Council; H.E. Sameh Abdullah Jumaa Karam Al Qubaisi, Director General of Economic Affairs at the Department of Economic Development - Abu Dhabi; and Mr. Ahmed Burahimah, Deputy Director of Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, along with several senior officials in government entities and the private sector attended the meetings.

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