The UAE and Kyrgyzstan signed on Monday several initial pacts for joint co-operation in sectors including agriculture and renewable energy as they look to boost mutual investment and trade.
The two countries plan to co-operate in various sectors including industry, food, aviation, tourism, education and technology, the UAE’s Ministry of Economy said in a press briefing in Abu Dhabi following the second meeting of the UAE-Kyrgyzstan Joint Economic Committee.
The two countries agreed to start work on the first phase of a project to build a solar power plant with a capacity of 200 megawatts in the Central Asian nation. They will also develop new projects to recycle household and industrial waste.
In addition, the two countries will further ease procedures for the import and export of goods and services — with a focus on food, agriculture and animal products — to improve future food security.
The committee “will open up additional potential for co-operation and partnership in a number of crucial economic areas and help investors find more lucrative investment opportunities in the markets of the two nations”, Abdulla bin Touq, UAE Minister of Economy, said in a statement.
The UAE was Kyrgyzstan’s top trading partner in the GCC and the region in 2021.
Non-oil trade volumes between the two countries grew 66 per cent to Dh3.7 billion ($1 billion) during the first nine months of 2022 compared to the same period last year, ministry data showed. This was also up 63 per cent and 56 per cent over the same period in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
The UAE accounts for 99.7 per cent of Kyrgyzstan's imports from the Gulf and 98 per cent of the country's exports to GCC countries.
“By strengthening joint economic and investment co-operation, encouraging the possibility of establishing projects in various commercial sectors, and stepping up efforts to increase and diversify trade exchange commodities, we look forward to creating a new phase through the committee meeting that supports the growth and sustainability of the economies of the two countries,” said Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Trade.
“This will further help to increase the growth of bilateral trade and mutual investments.”
In September 2021, the UAE announced plans to double the size of its economy to Dh3 trillion by 2030, up from Dh1.4 trillion.
The Emirates is seeking to eliminate or reduce tariffs, remove unnecessary trade barriers, increase market access and set up investment and trade joint-ventures with its partners.
The UAE aims to conclude at least 22 Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements by 2031, with plans to complete two of these deals before the end of this year and another four before the end of the first half of 2023, to boost bilateral trade and investments.
The initial pacts will involve local companies such as AD Ports, DP World, Emirates airline and agricultural companies, Juma Al Kait, assistant undersecretary for international trade affairs at the Ministry of Economy, told The National on the sidelines of the briefing.
“What's been discussed is really considered to be great opportunities for UAE investments as well contributing to the growth of the Kyrgyz Republic,” he said.
The UAE and Kyrgyzstan discussed ways to boost direct foreign investment in sectors of mutual interest and to increase the number of opportunities for investors and companies in both countries.
The committee also addressed investment opportunities in technology, cyber security, artificial intelligence and manufacturing.
In the field of medical sciences, particularly genetics and genomics, the UAE and Kyrgyzstan agreed to share expertise and training.