ABU DHABI, 18th November, 2022 (WAM) -- Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, visited the Havana International Fair 2022 in the Republic of Cuba, at the invitation of the Cuban government. The visit was aimed at exploring opportunities for cooperation and establishing new economic partnerships between the UAE and Caribbean business communities in various investment and trade sectors such as energy, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, transportation, communications, information technology, and health.
During the visit, Bin Touq met with several ministers from the Caribbean nations to discuss mechanisms to enhance economic and trade cooperation, and agreed on new action plans and programs that can help achieve this goal.
The Minister of Economy said, "Caribbean countries are a promising destination for investment and trade as they offer diverse economic opportunities. Therefore, the UAE is keen to develop partnerships with this region's business community and promote business and investment exchanges in a way that supports the development aspirations of both sides."
He added, "Our visit contributed to apprising the Caribbean private sector of the numerous economic initiatives that were recently launched by the UAE in line with its wise leadership's vision for the future, most notably the Projects of the 50, including the Investopia Summit and the Comprehensive Economic Partnerships Agreements program. In addition, the comprehensive development of the economic legislation in the UAE was highlighted, including the granting of 100 percent foreign ownership of companies, flexible tax policies, and facilitation of business set up processes in a way that cements the country's position as a global hub for trade and investment."
Furthermore, Bin Touq called on the Caribbean business community to capitalize on the incentives and investment opportunities offered by the UAE's business and investment environment in various economic and trade sectors, especially the sectors of the new economy, real estate, energy, renewable energy, financial activities, insurance, and tourism.
In addition, Dr. Badr Abdullah Al Matroushi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba, confirmed that the bilateral relations between the UAE and Cuba go back several years and is unique thanks to strong cooperation in various fields. He also underlined Investopia's prominent role in supporting climate action in the Caribbean countries, ensuring them sustainable and healthier economies in the future.
Bin Touq held a series of bilateral meetings with several ministers in the Cuban government, most notably Betsy Diaz, Minister of Internal Trade; Alejandro Fernandez, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Planning; Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, apart from meetings with private sector representatives.
The non-oil trade exchange between the UAE and the Caribbean market totaled nearly AED422 million in 2021, while the total volume of UAE's non-oil exports to the region amounted to nearly AED90 million. Besides, UAE's re-exports to the Caribbean countries amounted to AED174 million in 2021 recording a 2 percent growth compared to 2020, while Caribbean imports to the UAE grew by 29 per cent, totaling AED158 million in 2021.