The UAE and Germany have held talks on boosting bilateral and trade relations, discussing co-operation in a number of economic sectors that will mutually benefit the two nations.
The talks were held during a visit to Berlin by a high-level UAE delegation led by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, who said co-operation in the sectors discussed will contribute to sustainable economic growth, state news agency Wam reported on Tuesday.
Robert Habeck, Germany's vice chancellor and economy minister, hosted the delegation.
Among the sectors under discussion were energy — specifically wind and solar — advanced industries, artificial intelligence, infrastructure, tourism and agriculture, as well as “other promising areas”.
“The UAE leadership is keen to strengthen bilateral relations with the Republic of Germany and is exploring opportunities for co-operation and joint investment in vital areas,” the report quoted Dr Al Jaber as saying.
The UAE is Germany’s biggest trading partner in the Middle East, on par with Saudi Arabia, and the two countries have “intensive diplomatic relations”, Germany's Federal Foreign Office said.
A strategic partnership was agreed upon in April 2004 and was reinforced in June 2019 during a visit to Germany by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Trade between the two countries has consistently grown in the past 25 years. UAE exports to Germany rose to $1.1 billion in 2020 from $125 million in 1995 at an annualised rate of about 9.2 per cent, data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity showed.
The main exports were raw aluminium ($338m), aircraft parts ($84.5m) and spark-ignition engines ($84.3m).
Correspondingly, German exports to the UAE during the same period increased to $7.8bn in 2020 from $1.4bn in 1995 at a rate of about 7 per cent, with planes, helicopters and spacecraft ($1.35bn), cars ($762 million) and packaged medicines ($354m) as the main exports, the observatory said.
In March, a number of German companies, led by Mr Habeck, signed agreements with UAE firms to support Germany's long-term energy requirements.
The country is working to reduce its reliance on Russian energy as part of western efforts to pressure Moscow over its military offensive in Ukraine.
During the meeting in Berlin, Dr Al Jaber and Mr Habeck held meetings with German government officials and chief executives of major German companies to discuss further co-operation between the two countries.
The two sides discussed the UAE's preparations to host the 28th Conference of the Parties in 2023, plus continuing efforts to address climate change. The UAE was named the host of Cop28 during last year's event in Glasgow.