WAM: A 35-member high level business mission from the UAE government has visited the Republic of Singapore to explore strategic investment partnerships and strengthen trade exchange. The mission comprised key representatives from the government, public and private sectors.
Headed by Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry Affairs, the UAE delegation met with 15 senior representatives of major investment companies. The meetings were facilitated by Zahid Abdul Rahman, Vice President of the Singapore Business Federation.
During the roundtable meeting held as part of the tour, the two sides reviewed avenues of collaboration and ways to facilitate the establishment of joint investment projects between the private sectors in the two countries. Solutions for ensuring the seamless flow of Singaporean investments to the UAE across all economic sectors were also discussed.
In his address, Al Saleh underlined the importance the UAE places on its relationship with Singapore and reiterated the nation’s readiness to provide all necessary support and resources for establishing successful partnerships.
He pointed out that the UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong are considered major economic and commercial hubs that are pushing forward the global trade movement, especially for the 70 countries located along the Silk Route starting from China. He said such a responsibility indeed calls for the cooperation of all three economic hubs.
He added that the UAE is currently one of the most dynamic economies in the world given its policy of openness in developing economic and trade relations. Stating that the macroeconomic outlook of the UAE is highly positive with the economy registering a growth rate of 4.6% during 2014, Al Saleh said the current trend is expected to continue well into the future.
He pointed out that the UAE’s diversification policy is proving successful in fast-tracking the economic development of the country. He said, “There is a general perception about the UAE economy that it is based on oil and gas. However, the country’s economic success has been achieved through a reduced dependence on oil as a revenue generator. Currently, the contribution of oil remains well within 31% of the total GDP. Gearing up for our future, the UAE has also adopted a strategy to reduce the dependence further to 20% over the next ten years.”
The Singapore government and business leaders were also informed of the economic initiatives rolled out by the UAE across the tourism, space exploration and alternative energy domains. Al Saleh explained that these investments articulate the UAE Vision 2021 that seeks to promote innovation and capacity building in shaping a robust knowledge economy, while ensuring that the emerging sectors contribute five percent to the national GDP by the year 2021.
The Vice President of the Singapore Business Federation, lauded the UAE’s open investment climate. Highlighting a number of mega projects launched by Singapore in the UAE, he said that the success of the business enterprises is primarily due to the UAE government’s efforts in creating an environment conducive for establishing strong partnerships not only at the local level but also at regional and global levels.
Concluding the roundtable discussion, Mr. Abdul Rahman urged the continued interaction of businessmen and private sector companies in both countries. He said such sustained synergy will help raise the volume of trade exchange between the two sides.