Third session of "UAE-Ukraine Joint Committee" begins in Kiev

KIEV, 16th August, 2018 (WAM) -- The third session of the "UAE-Ukraine Joint Committee" started today in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, and will continue for two days.

The committee’s ministerial meeting will be held tomorrow, and the UAE’s delegation will be headed by Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, while the Ukrainian delegation will be led by Igor Nasalyk, Minister of Energy and Coal Industry.

The preparatory meeting of the committee’s senior officials, which was held today, was headed by Mohammed Sharaf, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Economic and Trade Affairs, and Natalia Boyko, Deputy Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of the Ukraine.

The UAE delegation includes representatives of several ministries, government authorities and the private sector, which include the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, the Ministry of Energy and Industry, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the Ministry of Economy, as well as the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Federal Transport Authority, the Federal Customs Authority, the General Authority for Sports, the UAE Space Agency, the Central Bank, the Department of Economic Development-Abu Dhabi, the Department of Economic Development-Dubai, Masdar, Mubadala, and DP World.

At the start of the preparatory meeting, both sides praised the strong relations between the two countries while highlighting the importance of such meetings in developing their bilateral relations.

The meeting also witnessed a discussion on the means of supporting and developing these bilateral relations and discovering new areas of cooperation in the economy, trade, investment, energy, oil, gas, finance, banking, education, health and transport.

Sharaf thanked Boyko and the Ukrainian delegation for their hospitality while expressing his hope that the third session of the committee will benefit both countries.

Sharaf delivered the greetings of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to the Ukrainian side, as well as his wishes for continued advancement and prosperity to the government and people of the Ukraine.

Today’s bilateral meeting aims to improve the relations between the two countries, in light of the efforts of their governments to strengthen their cultural, social, economic, trade and investment cooperation, the latest of which was an agreement in November 2017 to exempt their citizens from having to obtain pre-entry visas, Sharaf said while calling on all relevant parties to build on the committee’s efforts and initiatives, which will strengthen their bilateral relations and achieve the aspirations of the leadership of both countries.

Sharaf praised the growing non-oil commercial exchange between the UAE and the Ukraine, which rose from around US$439 million in 2016 to $666 million in 2017, an annual growth of 34 percent while adding that their non-oil commercial exchange during the first half of 2018 rose by 27 percent compared to the same period in 2017. He also noted that these figures reflect the developing economic relations between the two countries and are a stimulus for more joint efforts to discover future commercial opportunities in various sectors.

Sharaf called on the Ukraine to invest in the UAE’s advanced infrastructure and business and investment environment, which have made it a gateway to accessing the markets of the region, whose size is close to $7.6 trillion and has an overall population of two billion people. The UAE aims to create partnerships and attract direct investment to its leading sectors, such as advanced industries and the space sector, as part of its strategy to promote innovation and create fourth generation industries, he further added.

Sharaf expressed his gratitude to the Ukrainian government for announcing its participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai while expressing his hope that the exhibition will be an opportunity for the Ukrainian business sector, especially its small and medium-sized companies, to promote its products and strengthen its commercial and investment ties with the region and the entire world.

On the sidelines of the committee’s meeting, the UAE-Ukraine Business Forum was held at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the attendance of many business owners from both countries.

The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 15th October, 1992, and the Embassy of the Ukraine in Abu Dhabi opened in January 1994, while the Consulate of the Ukraine in Dubai opened in April 2012. Bilateral relations witnessed a further boost after the opening of the UAE Embassy in Kiev in 2013.

Both countries are connected by a series of bilateral agreements, most notably an agreement to protect and encourage investment from 2003, a double taxation avoidance agreement from 2003, and an air transport agreement from 2012. The number of weekly flights between the UAE and the Ukraine is currently 17, with flydubai accounting for 10 flights and Al Arabia with seven.

WAM/Hassan Bashir