Last week, I joined the meeting in London between the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. It was a historic moment as the two leaders set out a new path for our relationship. As we celebrate the UAE’s 50th anniversary, this was, as the Prime Minister said, about looking to the future – the next 50 years.
We face a world full of new challenges and opportunities. We share the same vision for our countries – confidently engaging with the world, transforming our economies to be at the forefront of the new technological changes and bringing security and prosperity to our peoples and those around us. At the heart of our new relationship is the conviction that we must do this by working together, whether that be in the UN Security Council or in the development of our economies. It is a partnership of co-travellers, of old friends forging a new path.
To this end, the two leaders launched a new, ambitious Partnership for the Future. This will provide the political framework under which the UAE and UK will work closely together on the shared global challenges that we face, on the promotion of prosperity and security for our citizens, and on the global need to collaborate on rapidly decarbonising our economies in order to meet our commitments under the Paris Agreement, including harnessing innovations in sectors like energy, transport, smart cities and agriculture. It will create new trade, investment and innovation opportunities and strengthen collaboration in areas including life sciences, energy innovation, regional issues, illicit finance, education, security, development, culture, climate and health and food security.
Trade and investment has always been at the centre of our relationship and we have a shared objective to enhance it – bilateral trade stood at more than $25 billion with two-way investment of more than $18bn in 2019. The two leaders witnessed the signing of the new UK-UAE Sovereign Investment Partnership (SIP) between the UK Office for Investment and the Mubadala Investment Company. The SIP committed a further $12bn across the strategic investment themes of technology, energy transition and infrastructure on top of the UAE’s recent commitment of $1.4bn to life sciences. These investments will drive innovation in strategic sectors and expand the exchange of knowledge, skills and ideas that will help both nations to prosper in the decades to come.
As we look forward, there is so much to celebrate about the first 50 years of the UAE. The UK congratulates the UAE on their remarkable progress. From that foundation, in just a few days’ time the UAE will rightly and proudly take their place in the global spotlight as Expo 2020 Dubai opens. The UK is equally proud to be taking part as one of over 190 nations. Our exciting pavilion and programme of events are based on the theme of “Innovating for a Shared Future”, echoing our new partnership. It is an inspiring first step in our future together.