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UAE and Russia companies sign agreements at industrial conference

July 9, 2024

The UAE and Russia signed several agreements and preliminary pacts on industrial investments on Tuesday during the Innoprom global industrial exhibition in Yekaterinburg.

The UAE – the first Arab nation to partner with Innoprom – had a strong presence at the four-day event with a delegation led by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, managing director and group chief executive of Adnoc.

The UAE's participation is focused on strengthening bilateral relations in investment, industrial and commercial opportunities, knowledge exchange, and industrial sector co-operation and partnership.

The ministry explored opportunities to enhance supply chains in agricultural technology and manufacturing, medicine, mobility, and the use of advanced technology to provide greater ease in vital and future industries.

The UAE showcased more than 2,000 locally manufactured products at the event as part of its Make it in the Emirates initiative which aims to support the growth and sustainability of local businesses.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin praised the role of Emirati companies for their accomplishments in the industrial sector at the conference.

The industrial sector is the second largest contributor to the UAE's non-oil gross domestic product after retail, reported the ministry.

The sector added about Dh197 billion ($53.64 billion) to the UAE's GDP last year, with the country achieving 30 per cent of Operation 300bn’s target since its 2021 launch, the ministry said in January.

The Emirates’ industrial exports increased by 17 per cent, recording a 7 per cent growth in productivity since the launch of the programme and reaching Dh187 billion last year.

UAE-Russia synergy

Russia is keen on finalising a free-trade agreement with the UAE that will improve conditions for mutual trade, according to Russian Industry and Trade Minister Anton Alikhanov.

“We anticipate the removal of excessive barriers to mutual trade in the near future. We are hopeful to conclude a preferential trade agreement within the coming months,” he said on Monday at Innoprom.

He added that Russia’s Minister of the Eurasian Economic Commission, Andrey Slepnev, will hold talks with UAE officials on the sidelines of the four-day exhibition held in the country’s manufacturing capital and fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg.

The UAE is the leading investor in and trade partner of Russia among Middle Eastern countries, said Russian President Vladimir Putin during talks with President Sheikh Mohamed in December last year, according to Russia’s official presidential website.

UAE investment in Russia’s non-oil sector increased by 103 per cent from 2022 to 2023, and overall trade increased by 67.7 per cent during that time.

Total trade between the UAE and Russia reached $11.4 billion last year, according to the MoIAT.

UAE imports from Russia reached $6.64 billion, led by pearls, stones and mineral products. The country’s exports totalled $289.65 million last year, with vegetable products, food and beverages, and wood pulp the main products.

Re-exports, imported goods that underwent further processing or manufacture, reached $4.42 billion, with products including machinery, minerals and textile products, according to the ministry.

The UAE is also set to conclude a free-trade zone agreement with Eurasian Economic Union countries including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi told Russian news agency TASS in February.

Dr Thani said at that time that initial agreements could be reached “in the coming months”.

The UAE and Russia are also partners in global bodies including the expanded alliance of oil-producing countries (Opec+) and the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, which held a two-day annual summit in Kazakhstan last week.

In January, the UAE became an official member of the Brics, an intergovernmental organisation whose founding members include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which aims to create greater economic co-ordination among its members.

The bloc’s founders together make up more than 42 per cent of the global population and a third of the world’s economic output, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Source: The National News - Business