Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, is part of the high-level delegation accompanying Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. He has responded to questions from the state's Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) about the visit. Below is the text:
What is the significance of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed's visit to Turkey?
This visit is significant in a number of ways. It comes at a time when both the UAE and Turkey are working together on a vision for a more peaceful, stable and prosperous future for the region. This collaboration is centred around tolerance, mutual benefit, shared interests and building bridges.
The main aim of Sheikh Mohamed’s visit is to create economic value through enhancing trade, business partnerships and investments. The UAE and Turkey have two of the most dynamic economies and societies in the region. We both have diverse cultures, we are both focused on economic growth and we both believe that economic progress is key to achieving a sustainable future.
The relationship between the UAE and Turkey is not a new one. We have enjoyed social, economic and cultural co-operation for years. In fact, the UAE is Turkey’s largest regional trading partner. However, this visit, at the invitation of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, truly marks a new era to take these ties to new levels. We have a very strong common foundation and we can and should build on it.
What sectors in particular will likely be the focus of enhanced economic ties between the UAE and Turkey?
We are taking a comprehensive approach to this partnership. We will build on the existing foundation between the two countries and enhance our economic, trade and social ties across multiple sectors, including energy, health care, food and agriculture, logistics, ports, transportation, industry and manufacturing, infrastructure, finance and capital markets, technology, tourism, culture and more.
We also aim to forge partnerships to address global challenges together like climate change, energy, food, and water security.
What is the current nature of the UAE’s economic relations with Turkey?
We both have open and inclusive economies and understand the value of partnerships. The UAE is Turkey’s largest regional trading partner. From 2019 to 2020, UAE exports to Turkey increased by more than 110 per cent and total trade increased by 21 per cent.
Over the past five years, the UAE mostly invested in Turkey's transportation, renewable energy and tourism sectors, while Turkish investments in the UAE focused on construction, automotive components and renewable energy.
We are now ready to enter the next phase and to build on those investments. I look forward to expanding on these partnerships in various fields and across various industries.
What is behind the recent shift in UAE-Turkish relations?
It is our common interests, genuine commitment and shared vision for peace, stability and prosperity, not just for us but for the broader region. From our engagements with our various Turkish counterparts, it is evident and very clear that we share a similar outlook and agree on a range of topics that are strategically important to both of us.
In addition to this, the art of partnership is part of our DNA and it has been key to our success over the years.
And as we celebrate our Golden Jubilee, partnerships and building bridges will continue to be central to our next 50-year development plans. So, we are laser-focused on prioritising sustainable economic growth and prosperity alongside regional and global partners.
That means establishing stronger economic, trade, business and cultural ties with nations around the world like Turkey. As a close regional neighbour Turkey is just a great natural partner.
Is there any specific message you would like to relay to the Turkish people?
I would like to invite the people of Turkey to come visit the UAE and to enjoy Expo 2020 Dubai and see for yourselves how 192 countries, including Turkey, of course, have come together to connect minds and create the future.