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UAE Moldova’s gate to MENA, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration tells WAM

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By: Hatem Mohamed ABU DHABI, 12th May, 2018 (WAM) -- The United Arab Emirates is Moldova’s gate to other GCC states and the entire MENA region, said Tudor Ulianovschi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, before opening on Thursday his country’s embassy in the UAE, which, he said, will serve the interests of the Moldovan community, not only in the Emirates, but also across the Arabian Gulf region.

Speaking to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Ulianovschi said his country is planning to open its consulate in Dubai in the near future and is determined to benefit from the UAE energy diversification model. "We are now at the highest point of our collaboration with the UAE and we are determined to utitilise our growing ties to the best interests of the two sides."

The Moldovan top diplomat is optimistic about the possibility of the UAE opening an embassy in his country in the foreseeable future. "After the opening of the embassy here in UAE, we welcome the opening of the UAE embassy in Moldova. We have discussed this with the UAE officials and we did not see any objection out of the principle of reciprocity. So we are waiting for once there is a contact point here, there will be more cooperation. We will have a trade officer in the embassy here entrusted by the ministry of economy in Moldova to facilitate trade relations with the UAE. We are planning to build win-to-win partnerships with the Emirati people and all segments of the business community here. Moldova is providing a wide range of agricultural products, including vegetables, fruits and juices, and we would like to have the opportunity to export, not only to the UAE, but also through the UAE as a gate to other GCC states, as well as to the entire MENA region."

"Furthermore, we already have an air connection between the two countries. We have flights twice a week between Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, and Dubai, through the National Moldovan Airlines, Air Moldova, and we hope we get Emirates Airlines flying between our two countries soon."

Ulianovschi expects a civil aviation agreement to be signed by the two countries shortly to "strengthen the air connection between the two countries. This of course will boost trade, investment and tourist relations as well as the cultural cooperation between the two peoples, who have many things in common. We in Moldova started from agricultural economy and we are now moving toward the service and IT-based economy. We have 99 % literacy rate and so we are trying to adapt to the modern age of economy. We are also trying to diversify our economy with multiple relations with different world countries. We have excellent ties with major world nations, including FTAs with the European Union, Russia, and Turkey and now we are trying to expand our presence in the region through the UAE. And as I said earlier, we last year granted a visa waiver for UAE citizens and now we have a large number of tourists coming from the UAE to our country."

He expressed admiration of the UAE energy diversification model. "We need to benefit from UAE experience in diversifying energy resources to reduce poverty and promote social inclusiveness. In UAE, there is a big focus on promoting solar power and in Moldova we don’t have any mountains; we have hills and we have a plenty of summer days and therefore we need to diversify our energy resources, establish solar power plants and consequently generate cheaper electricity. We want also to benefit from the UAE position as a top donor country. We wish to see Moldova included in UAE’s list of Official Development Assistance recipients."

The foreign minister of Moldova highlighted his country’s willingness to have robust presence in the EXPO 2020 Dubai. "I visited the location of such an extraordinary project and I applaud the vision and professional and open approach of the UAE authorities in organising such a premier event."

He also expressed happiness with the organisation of the Moldovan Business Forum in the UAE which, he said, saw constructive business dialogues between the two countries.

According to data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics of Moldova, the country’s exports to the UAE in 2017 amounted to US$2.47 million against $ 788,22 thousands 2016, while imports from UAE stood at $1.89 million against $1.08 million 2016.


WAM/Hatem Mohamed