The UAE has invited French companies to explore investment opportunities, especially in the country’s new economy sectors, as ties between the two countries continue to strengthen.
Mr bin Touq is leading a UAE delegation to France to discuss the strengthening of economic co-operation in key sectors, including renewable energy, tourism, aviation, entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence, space, intellectual property and the circular economy.
“The economic policies approved by the UAE over the last three years…have established a solid, fertile environment for the growth of major French companies, enabling their access to new markets,” Mr bin Touq said on Thursday.
“The UAE offers them various incentives and advantages, including advanced infrastructure and flexible legislation that ensure fair competition, in addition to a digital services system through which businesses can be easily set up.”
The Arab world’s second-largest economy introduced a number of new legislations as it aims to boost its economy and support the private sector.
The reforms are aimed at improving ease of doing business, attracting foreign investors, creating jobs and diversifying its economy away from oil.
The UAE has also allowed 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies, reduced visa restrictions, provided various incentives for small and medium enterprises and introduced laws to improve transparency for investors.
The country is also putting in place various measures to boost foreign direct investment. It aims to attract Dh550 billion ($149.7 billion) in FDI by 2030, and eventually reach Dh1 trillion by 2051.
"The country is continuously developing its economic legislation and launching innovative initiatives and programmes that support the economic climate and attract FDI, especially in the new economy sectors," the minister said.
These include the "issuance of legislation to protect intellectual property and the launch of an ambitious strategy to attract talent and minds to enhance the UAE’s position as a permanent hub for creativity and innovation".
The UAE is home to more than 600 French companies operating in various sectors including renewable energy, transportation, logistics, hotels, aviation, space, banking, and insurance, among others. They employ more than 30,000 people, according to Mr bin Touq.
“The UAE is the second largest GCC investor in France and has more than 50 of its companies operating in France, in various sectors. We will continue to work with our French partners to increase the number of companies operating in the markets of the two countries, contributing to the creation of thousands of job opportunities,” he added.
As part of his trip, Mr bin Touq also met with his French counterpart, Bruno Le Maire, to explore ways to build the partnership between the two countries in new economic sectors.
The UAE and French delegations also discussed opportunities to strengthen bilateral tourism and aviation relations. In 2022, the number of French tourists who visited the UAE surpassed 490,000, an increase of 20,000 on 2021.