Al Zeyoudi explores high-potential new markets

Dr Al Zeyoudi said the meetings serve to strengthen the UAE’s status as a logistics nerve center and an important partner for economic development across Asia, Africa and the Middle East….reports Asian Lite News

Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, has held bilateral meetings with senior ministers and officials from a number of countries across the world during the 12th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM Global 2023) in Abu Dhabi. The discussions sought to underline the UAE’s commitment to developing trade and investment relations that will deliver long-term, sustainable growth, secure vital supply chains and increase the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade to US$1.09 trillion (AED4 trillion) by 2031.

From the Arab World, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi met Kholoud Al-Saqqaf, Minister of Investment for Jordan, a nation with deep ties to the UAE and a member of the tripartite Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Growth with Egypt, which is being supported by a US$10 billion investment fund. Dr Al Zeyoudi also held talks with Amin Salam, Minister of Economy and Trade for Lebanon, with which the UAE shared bilateral non-oil trade of $2.8 billion in 2022, and Dr Haider Muhammad Makiya from the Iraq Investment Authority, to ascertain the investment priorities of two of the most important Arab economies.

Underlining the UAE’s growing ties to Asia, Dr Al Zeyoudii then met Jurabek Mirzamaxmudov, Minister of Energy for Uzbekistan, with whom the UAE shared bilateral trade of US$993 million in 2022, more than double the figure recorded in 2021. This was followed by discussions with Sandag Byambatsogt, Minister of Road and Transport Development for Mongolia, and Nalin Fernando, Minister of Trade, Commerce and Food Security for Sri Lanka.

The importance of Africa to the UAE’s trade and investment strategy was reflected in meetings with Jean Lucien Busa, Minister of Foreign Trade from the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Honorable Simplex Chithyola, Minister of Trade and Industry for Malawi; Serge Gnaniodem Poda, Minister of Industrial Development, Commerce, Handicrafts and SMEs for Burkina Faso; and Omar Shaaban, Minister of Trade and industrial Development for Tanzania. Dr Al Zeyoudi also held talks with Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the African Free Trade Association, to explore greater trade ties with the continent.

The bilaterals concluded with discussions with Fabio Righi, Minister of State for Industry, Handicraft and Trade, Technological Research and Regulatory Simplification for the Republic of San Marino and Alberto Pimentel Mata, Minister of Energy and Mines for Guatemala.

On Day 2 of AIM, Dr Al Zeyoudialso welcomed China’s leading 50 unicorns – or start-up enterprises that are now valued in excess of US$1 billion – to the Arab-China Unicorn Investment Conclave, during which some of China’s most important investors joined with regional venture capitalists, family offices and investment companies to discuss ways to help develop the region’s start-up ecosystem. His Excellency then held talks with Wang Shaojie, President of Zhongguancun Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, to explore synergies between his investment strategies and the UAE’s entrepreneurial landscape.

In another highly significant meeting, Dr Al Zeyoudi met Brian Armstrong, CEO of leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, to discuss the company’s plans to open their regional headquarters in the UAE under the Ministry of Economy’s NextGenFDI program. The UAE has sought to develop a supportive environment for the development and exchange of digital assets in recent years, with clear and transparent regulations, a pool of high-caliber talent and funding networks, while initiatives such as NextGenFDI provide a range of market-entry fundamentals to enable digitally enabled companies to rapidly set-up operations in the country.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said these meetings serve to strengthen the UAE’s status as a logistics nerve center and an important partner for economic development across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. “The UAE has long believed that foreign trade is a major driver of growth, industrial output and economic development, and we continue to champion globalization and the multilateral trading system. We have embarked on a bold new foreign trade agenda, which is seeking to accelerate non-oil trade with key markets around the world.

“My meetings with ministers this week have sought to strengthen trade and investment ties with high-potential countries on every continent, and secure new markets and new partnerships for our exporters and investors. We found many areas of mutual interest and look forward to the opportunities these discussions will unlock for us all.”

AIM Global 2023 ran from May 8-10, 2023, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Under the theme “The Investment Paradigm Shift: Future Investment Opportunities to Foster Sustainable Economic Growth, Diversity and Prosperity”. It comprised an exhibition, investment roundtables, investment destinations presentations, investment awards, start-up awards, and investors hub and G2G, G2B and B2B meetings.

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