UAE and Texas explore clean-tech ecosystem investment opportunities

UAE officials hold meetings with top start-ups using AI, blockchain and quantum computing to develop sectors including real estate, logistics, utilities and media

The delegation of senior officials and business leaders, led by Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, held several meetings in Texas. Photo: UAE Ministry of Economy
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The UAE is exploring new bilateral investment opportunities with the US state of Texas, focusing on clean-tech ecosystem start-ups, as the Arab world’s second-largest economy continues to broaden trade and investment ties with its global partners.

A UAE delegation led by Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, visited Texas, the single largest state exporter to the UAE, and discussed opportunities for private sector companies, the UAE Ministry of Economy said in a statement on Friday.

The UAE officials also attended an Austin Chamber of Commerce round table, where they discussed new avenues to boost trade, especially in the IT, automotive parts and machinery sectors.

Dr Al Zeyoudi also held several one-on-one meetings with top Austin-based start-ups that are using AI, blockchain and quantum computing to advance the real estate, emergency response, logistics, utilities and media sectors.

The minister highlighted the UAE’s “unique innovation ecosystem” and the country’s market-access incentives provided through the NextGenFDI initiative.

He also met several officials including Austin Mayor Kirk Watson and discussed collaboration opportunities to boost inbound investment and trade from the state to the UAE.

“The US is a long-standing trade and investment partner for the UAE – and an important ally in the battle to develop alternative sources of energy,” Dr Al Zeyoudi said.

“It has been highly encouraging to see the innovation on display here in the US in a wide number of areas, from low-carbon transport and hospitality to smart cities, and we are keen to pursue partnerships that will further their development.”

In November, last year, the UAE and the US signed a strategic partnership to invest $100 billion to produce 100 gigawatts of clean energy globally by 2035.

The agreement was signed at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference.

The two countries are also investing in the management of harmful emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane, the development of advanced nuclear technology and the decarbonisation of the industrial and transport sectors, they said at the time.

Dr Zeyoudi said the two sides “remain committed to finding new avenues of co-operation to uphold our net zero pledge”.

The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade reached a record Dh2.23 trillion ($607.1 billion) in 2022, as the country accelerated efforts to boost its global trade ties.

This was the first time the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade crossed the Dh2 trillion mark with values for the January-December period increasing more than 17 per cent compared with the same period in 2021, government data released in February showed.

Last year, the UAE also signed its first comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa) with India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, which helped propel bilateral trade to $38.6 billion in the first nine months of 2022 — almost double the figure recorded in the same period of 2020.

It has since signed similar agreements with Israel, Indonesia and Turkey, and is close to finalising an agreement with Kenya.

The country is also in talks with Costa Rica and also recently concluded negotiations for new trade deals with Georgia and Cambodia.

The country is working towards signing 26 Cepas as it seeks to diversify its economy, eliminate unnecessary trade barriers, increase market access and set up investment and trade ventures with its partners, Abdulla bin Touq, Minister of Economy, said in March.

Updated: May 05, 2023, 12:20 PM