The UAE-British Business Council 4th meeting which was co-chaired by H.E. Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Lord Marland, Chairman of UK Trade Investment’s Business Ambassadors’ Group Minister of the Department of Energy Climate Change of the UK and Samir Brikho Chief Executive of AMEC Head of the British group in the UAE-British Business Council, in presence of Council members from both sides.The meeting discussed many topics on its agenda, notably the activation of teams from the two sides in fields of energy, education, health, infrastructure, business and finance and SMEs. In his opening speech H.E. Nasser Alsowaidi, said: Our Council is holding its fourth meeting today and addresses with great ambition many common issues which form the essential foundation for the furtherance and development of economic relations between the two friendly countries in various sectors and strategic areas.Alsowaidi noted that the Council's 4th meeting in the commercial and industrial city of Manchester, enhances the efforts to focus on creating more opportunities for investment and joint cooperation between the two sides in many strategic sectors, adding that all this in line with major goals of the Council to boost bilateral trade volume between the two countries, in goods and services from the current level of £ 7.5 billion to £ 12 billion by 2015.The Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development stressed the keenness of UAE to create solid and sustainable partnership with the United Kingdom, and to benefit from UK experience to enhancing the role of SMEs, to which the working groups of the Council attaches great importance, besides the major fields, including energy, industry, education, health and defense, which are pivotal to the development of partnership relations between the two countries.
The Council meeting focused on the implementation of the outcomes of the previous meetings of the Joint Economic Committee between the two countries, which emphasized the importance of activating and developing SMEs, strengthening the role of multinational corporations and proposing innovative areas of economic and commercial cooperation to benefit both countries; in addition to opportunities for British and Emirati companies to jointly tap third markets.The UAE-British Business Council, which operates under the umbrella of the Joint Economic Committee of the two countries personifies the aspirations of the Governments of the two countries to creating real interaction and consolidation between the private sector in the UAE and the UK, through the provision of the appropriate platform for implementation of investment development projects beneficial to both sides.The Council meeting was aimed at shaping the outcome of the meetings of the seven joint working groups in areas of education and training, defense and security, energy, financial services, health, infrastructure, and small and medium-sized enterprises and business incubators, which achieved significant progress through ideas and visions suitable for cruising around a wide range of practical application, to reflect common objectives and begin implementation of the truly key pillar partnership of the private sector.H.E. Nasser Alsowaidi said that the fourth meeting of the Council was important, as the Council convened today to explore the visions shared by joint teams, which marked a starting point for solid cooperation between the two countries. He stressed that joint decisions were importance to take a new path towards launching a package of joint investment projects in many sectors.Al Sowaidi noted that the U.A.E. now stands as an important economic centre in the Middle East, and that the IMF expects the growth of real GDP to range between 3.1% and 3.6% end of this year, as the Financial Times FDI Report 2012, stated that the UAE attracted the largest number of investment projects in the Middle East and Africa last year.Nasser Alsowaidi said that it was important for the Council at the current stage to focus on supporting the efforts of joint teams to strengthen cooperation in the sectors of education and training and health care, which stand among the priorities of the UAE Government as essential pillars of its vision 2021. Alsowaidi added that the law issued by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, regarding the tax and customs free Abu Dhabi World market, at the Maria Island free zone are exempt, is a great opportunity to redirect British investments, towards the important sectors, where the market licensed institutions practice many activities and financial and banking services. Nasser Alsowaidi noted that the results of the recent visit of his Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the United Kingdom at the kind invitation of the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, yielded historic results that would contribute to the strengthening and development of the historical relations between the two countries.This historic visit of his Highness provided the solid ground and the right environment for the UAE-British Business Council meeting today, especially that its agenda , was the focus of the two Governments and in particular, the President's meeting with British Prime Minister H.E David Cameron. Alswowidi said.On his Lord Marland, said that political and economic relations between his country and the UAE have become stronger, in view of the development of joint trade and investment relations between the two sides, adding that the United Kingdom, applauds the progress the UAE achievements at all levels, especially in economic and trade; as UAE stands as models for development and growth among the states of the Middle East region.Mr. Samir Brikho Chief Executive of AMEC Head of the British group in the UAE-British Business Council, during the meeting delivered a speech in which he stressed the important of the seven joint working groups in many different areas and sectors, and hailed their role in promoting economic cooperation and investment between the two countries, through specialized reporting and recommendations what would strengthen partnership and cooperation in these areas.The Council meeting also focused on the importance of activating the role of the SMEs and business incubators, where Emirati side explained the need to British experience to develop this important sector in UAE and, lauding the role of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, and Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Young Entrepreneurs, which contribute to the growth and development of these projects at the State level.The UAE side participants in the meeting were H.E Abdulrahman Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber, the First Deputy chairman of the Council, H.E Ahmed Mohammed Al Madfaa chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Council's Second Vice-Chairman, H.E Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber, H.E Mohamed Hassan Al Qemzi CEO of Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones, H.E Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, Dr. Saif Sultan Al-Nassiri, Business Manager, Director General of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company ADNOC, Raja Easa Al Gurg, Executive Director of Easa Al Gurg Group, H.E Marwan Faraj bin Hamoodah, member of the Board of Directors of bin Hamoodah Group , and H.E Suhail Aqeel Al-Banna, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Dubai World Ports.The two sides during the meeting, laid emphasis on education and health sectors, and the role of the education and joint health teams in strengthening cooperation and benefiting from the accumulated experience through the launching of training courses and specialized institutions.The meeting discussed a number of topics on its agenda, including a plan groups during the next period, which will focus on the promotion of British and UAE companies and, support the private sector to take advantage of opportunities in the two countries.It was agreed to hold the fifth meeting of the Council in the UAE in the presence and participation of representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises of the two countries, to participate by organizing joint trade mission to a third country.The Council continued its work agenda within the meetings of the Joint Economic Committee between the United Kingdom and U.A.E, revising the past period meetings, notably in investment and trade, and the role and participation in areas of business community, technical cooperation, information exchange and visa, and the follow-up mechanism with focus on the seven priority sectors in the next phase.The British side served a dinner in honor of visiting UAE delegation, which was attended by Mr. Hurd Bernstein – Manchester City Council President who lauded UAE- British Business Council's role in strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries in the economic field, expressing confidence that the Council would achieve positive results that will benefit the economic relations between the two countries, especially in promoting trade and economic partnerships.The members of the delegation of the United Arab Emirates and British sides on the sidelines of the fourth meeting, watch matched Manchester City and Norwich football match at Etihad Stadium in the last round of the Premier League.Statistics show that trade between the UAE and Britain continued to increase as the total trade between the two countries, reached £10 billion (AED59.57 billion) in 2011, with an increase of 21% compared to 2010. The two aim at achieving the target of bilateral trade of £12 billion (AED 71.49 billion) by 2015.The total number of British companies operating in the UAE reached 4,000 companies, with commercial agencies totaling 779 and British brands reaching 4762. The important activities of these companies and commercial agencies include oil equipments, medical equipments, electrical and mechanical engineering, water desalination, fire fighting equipments materials and supplies, construction equipment, vehicles, machinery and heavy equipment, electronic equipment and appliances, audio and video equipments, furniture and furnishings, sanitation equipment, clothing, textiles and leather products and investment offices.British companies investing in UAE cover areas of Islamic banking services, including deposits, loans, credit cards and portfolio management , exhibitions, conferences, energy, electricity, water desalination, air transport of passengers and goods, gas production, hotels, restaurants, travel, tourism, high technology, information technology and management, planning, supervision and wholesale of telecommunication products, logistic services, cargo transportation services, real estate, aircraft structures and components, industry pottery, ceramics, leisure sectors, sports and money Exchange.The most important UAE companies investing in United Kingdom include ADNOC, ENOC, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Dana Gas Wells, Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Investment Company, Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Abu Dhabi investment Authority (ADIA), Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH), Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and others.The United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom are linked several bilateral economic agreements such as the protection and guarantee of Investments agreement between the two countries signed in 1993 and the agreement between the Government of the UAE and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and a memorandum of understanding on trade and economic cooperation in 2009, the cooperation agreement with public transport in London in 2010 to support and strengthen cooperation and exchange of information in the field of transport and communications, the memorandum of understanding with Aviation Directorate at the Ministry of Transport In 2011 and the consolidation of cooperation between the two countries in the field of aviation security.