ABU DHABI, 3rd March, 2022 (WAM) — The UAE and the Republic of Latvia have agreed on a six-track economic cooperation programme covering the fields of trade and investment; innovation and advanced technology; transportation and logistics; agriculture; food; education; and science, during the 2nd Joint Economic Committee (JEC) session held in Dubai.
The session was chaired by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Raymonds Lapins, Deputy Minister of State at the Latvian Ministry of Economy. It was attended by the Commissioner-General of the Latvian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai; and several governmental officials, businessmen and private sector representatives from both sides.
The latest JEC session discussed an agreement to develop economic cooperation programmes that target six categories. These programmes will be designed to achieve higher levels of prosperous economic and commercial partnership, open up new developmental dimensions, and build competencies in various fields of mutual interest.
Besides, the session highlighted the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation between the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Department at the UAE Ministry of Economy.
Trade and Investment
Both sides agreed to promote economic ties by facilitating direct cooperation between relevant governmental entities, exchanging information, enhancing industrial capabilities, and encouraging both countries’ private sectors to invest, increase mutual trade, exchange trade delegation visits, and maintain direct interactions.
Innovation and advanced technology
The UAE and Latvia signed an MoU to promote cooperation between the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Department in the UAE’s Ministry of Economy. This will promote joint efforts to support the transition towards a circular economy.
Transportation and logistics
The two sides agreed to explore new opportunities for cooperation in promoting the effectiveness and flexibility of land and air logistics supply chains.
Agriculture and food security
The UAE and Latvia also agreed to promote cooperation in food security, enhance food and agricultural products trade, exchange knowledge on the requirements of phytosanitary and veterinary health, and share expertise on aquaculture and organic agriculture.
Energy and renewable energy
Both countries expressed their interest in promoting cooperation and exploring further partnership opportunities in renewable energy.
They agreed to promote collaboration between their educational and research institutions, encourage the exchange of students, academics and researchers, and develop and implement joint academic projects.
Al Zeyoudi affirmed the depth of the UAE-Latvia ties, pointing out that the economic relations are currently witnessing significant development in different sectors, thanks to concerted efforts from both sides to develop, expand their prospects and diversify them.
He added, “Latvia is a promising economic destination and an important trade partner for the UAE in the Baltic region. Over the past years, we have achieved high levels of economic cooperation. Through this JEC platform, we will work to develop cooperation channels further and facilitate partnerships in many new and future areas of interest to both sides.
“These include the knowledge economy and the sectors of new economy such as innovation, SMEs, AI, modern digital technologies, renewable energy and industry, and ICT, in addition to other key sectors of cooperation such as trade, investment, tourism, aviation, logistics, health, and education among others.”
Al Zeyoudi also reviewed the most prominent developments and achievements in the UAE’s economic environment. He briefed the Latvian side on the leading initiatives and projects launched by the UAE recently as part of its future vision, notably the ‘Projects of the 50’ and the ongoing transition into a more sustainable and flexible economic model.
He further elaborated on the overall developments in the UAE’s economic legislation aimed at facilitating business and promoting the country’s attractiveness as a destination for leading projects, distinguished international companies, talents and innovations.
The Minister called on the Latvian private sector to explore the advantages and integrated incentives offered by the UAE’s business environment and to take advantage of its strategic location and its status as a global hub for trade, investment and business, and as a vital gateway to the Middle Eastern, Asian and African markets.
Al Zeyoudi added, “The UAE and Latvia have solid and well-established relationships. Through the Committee’s outputs, we are keen to develop a roadmap to drive the cooperation between the UAE and Latvia in the next stage to increase trade, diversify investment and ensure the effectiveness and flexibility of supply chains.
He said that the country will provide all facilities and incentives to Latvian companies wishing to establish or expand their operations in the UAE or other regional and international markets.
Raimonds, in turn, said that shared strategic goals and interests drive bilateral cooperation. He further noted that the Expo 2020 Dubai, the world’s most successful event in creating new job opportunities, is a testament to the promising partnership prospects between the two countries.
He also noted that Latvia and the UAE have lots in common in terms of vision, values, and developmental strategies based on openness, linkages with international markets, nurturing innovations, solutions, and new ideas, and promoting a flexible economy to address emerging challenges.
“These commonalities provide a common and solid ground to promote innovation, sustainable energy, agriculture, and transportation, which will lead to growth in trade and investment exchanges,” Raimonds noted.
Over the past two years, the total value of UAE – Latvian non-oil trade reached nearly AED624 million. Meanwhile, the value of mutual investments between both countries exceeded AED117 million, 60 percent of UAE’s investments in Latvia.