MILAN, 18th May, 2023 (WAM) — The UAE and Italy discussed the means to strengthen bilateral economic partnership and boost investment exchanges in various new economy sectors, especially renewable energy, tourism, and FinTech, during a meeting held in Milan today.
These efforts will help create new investment opportunities to support the sustainable economic growth through collaboration and partnerships between the two private sectors.
Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, who is leading the UAE delegation to Italy, held a number of bilateral meetings with Italian ministers and government officials, in addition to roundtable meetings with businessmen and investors from both countries to highlight the current and future investment opportunities in various sectors.
Furthermore, Al Marri invited the Italian private sector to take advantage of the features and incentives offered by the UAE economy to achieve growth and expansion in the UAE and the wider MEA markets. These include Investopia, the global investment platform, which aims to create opportunities and enable the investments of the future, in addition to the comprehensive economic partnership agreements, of which the UAE has signed four, with India, Israel, Indonesia, and Turkey so far.
Al Marri discussed the progress in economic relations between the two countries in various fields and sectors with a number of Italian ministers and government officials, including Antonio Tajani, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Giancarlo Giorgetti, Italian Minister of Economy and Finance; Daniela Santanchè, Italian Minister of Tourism; and Ignazio La Russa, President of the Senate of Italy.
The Minister of Economy stated that the close cooperation between the UAE and Italy is built on historical and strategic ties, with economy as one of its main drivers.
Moreover, he clarified that the visit by the UAE delegation, which includes 50 members from the government and private sectors including investors and businessmen, aims to bolster the economic and trade relations and stimulate the mutual investment flow between the two countries. He added that this is in line with the directives of the wise leadership to develop the bilateral cooperation into a comprehensive economic partnership that contributes to the achievement of the two countries’ sustainable development goals.
He stated, “The UAE and Italy share strong, continuously evolving relations, with the unlimited support of both leaderships. Our ties will continue to grow in all aspects, supporting common interests and prosperity.”
Al Marri also emphasised that the UAE and Italy share views on several regional and global issues, and that both nations rely on constructive dialogue and diplomacy to address them.
During the meetings, Abdullah bin Touq highlighted the importance of the session to be launched by the global investment platform Investopia tomorrow in Milan, in stimulating investments and encouraging business communities to explore more promising opportunities in new economy sectors. He also invited the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs to attend the platform’s next conference in 2024.
He reiterated that both sides are keen on expanding trade and investment partnership between Abu Dhabi and Rome and creating new opportunities for economic collaboration to build a new, knowledge-based economic model that is more resilient and competitive, thus creating sustainable job opportunities.
In addition, Al Marri pointed out that the tourism sector’s development is among the top priorities on the UAE government’s agenda, due to the sector’s significance as a key pillar of the national economy. “We look forward to exchanging expertise with the Italian side to foster tourism industry’s sustainable growth and governance in accordance with international best practices,” he said.
“The UAE is keen to promote parliamentary work in line with the directives of its wise leadership. The parliamentary work in the UAE has seen effective participation of women. The UAE is the only country in the MENA region to achieve equality at the parliamentary level. As a result, the country was ranked 30th globally in fostering political empowerment of women by the World Economic Forum,” he further added.
Al Marri’s meeting with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs explored the means to enhance cooperation between UAE and Italy in all areas of common interest.
In addition, the minister’s meeting with the Italian Minister of Economy and Finance explored mechanisms for enhancing collaboration in priority fields. The two sides highlighted the need to explore more investment opportunities in the UAE and Italian markets and new economy sectors, particularly finance, technology, advanced sciences, industries, renewable energy, e-commerce, logistics and supply chains. This is while also moving forward with promoting cooperation in the fields of climate change, sustainable agriculture and agricultural innovation, food security, circular economy among other areas of common interest.
The visit of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to the UAE last March, and her meeting with President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, kickstarted a new era of cooperation at all levels, opening up new avenues to develop bilateral relations.
Giancarlo Giorgetti said, “We will work alongside our partners in the UAE to enhance bilateral relations and increase trade and investment exchanges in the fields of technology and circular economy, and other areas of common interest.”
Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri and the Italian Minister of Tourism discussed the mechanisms to stimulate mutual investments in innovative tourism projects as well as the steps taken to increase air connectivity. Starting from January 2023 to date, there are approximately 45 flights per week between the two countries. This facilitates tourism flows between the two countries, as the UAE received more than 170,000 Italian tourists who spent 954,000 hotel nights in 2021.
The Italian Minister of Tourism affirmed her country’s desire to strengthen cooperation with the UAE in various fields, especially tourism, and jointly promote tourism projects and initiatives that will attract more investment in both countries.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Economy’s meeting with Ignazio La Russa, President of the Italian Senate, discussed ways to strengthen the cooperation between the UAE and Italy in the parliamentary sphere. La Russa affirmed that Italy and the UAE share a historic friendship that has undergone a strong shift after the Italian Prime Minister’s visit to Abu Dhabi in March 2023, highlighting the UAE economy’s successful diversification and richness, which foster startups and family-businesses.
During the meetings, the Minister of Economy reviewed the most notable developments in the UAE’s economic environment that created an economic climate that supports the growth and prosperity of businesses and attract investments in line with the Projects of the 50 and the UAE Centennial 2071 goals. Apart from the granting of 100 percent foreign ownership and enacting a legislation to protect intellectual property, an ambitious strategy to attract talent in all sectors was also launched to enhance the country’s position as a permanent hub for creativity and innovation.
Investopia Europe, the first event launched by Investopia in 2023, will open tomorrow in the Italian city of Milan, following its annual conference in March. The event aims to promote dialogue and stimulate global investment in fast-growing sectors, particularly the new economy, circular economy, family businesses and creative industries, and introduce global future trends of investment. More than 250 leaders, businessmen, investors, entrepreneurs, and economists from around the world will participate in the event.
The country’s delegation to Italy includes 50 people from the public-private sectors, including Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director of Lulu Financial Holdings; Salah Sharaf, Director-General at Sharaf Group; Sanjeev Gupta, CEO of Liberty Steel; as well as Ahmed Kassir, Executive Director at Sharjah Investment and Development Authority “Shurooq”; Hamad Obaid Al Shamsi, Regional Investment Promotion Manager (Invest in Sharjah); Shadi Hassan, Managing Partner of Lifco Group; Hani Barhoush, CEO of Disruptive Investments at Mubadala; Agate Johnson, Head of Strategic Business and Marketing at Lulu Financial Holdings; Youssef Ahmed Al Yousef, Chief Operating Officer Al Yousef; Hassan Karimi, Co-Founder and Managing Director of KHK & Partners; and Jamal bin Saif AlJarwan, Secretary-General of the of the UAE International Investors Council.