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UAE-Dutch Joint Economic Committee holds second meeting, discusses trade, investment opportunities

UAE-Dutch Joint Economic Committee holds second meeting, discusses trade, investment opportunities
15 Nov 2023 15:46


Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, headed a UAE delegation to the Netherlands this week to attend the second meeting of the UAE-Netherlands Joint Economic Committee (JEC), which gathered senior government officials and private sector representatives to strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties.

Al Zeyoudi’s visit to the Netherlands follows the state visit by Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, in September, when he was received by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discussed opportunities across a range of sectors including trade, energy, and environment among others.

Discussions at the second JEC, attended by representatives of both sides, focused on expanding on mutual investment that currently stands at US$20 billion between the two countries, and updates on recent agreements to develop green hydrogen and manufacture green batteries and electric motors. It also touched on the increase in trade of food and agricultural products, as the UAE ranks as one of the principal destinations in the MENA region for agricultural products from the Netherlands, and one of the largest importers of Dutch agriculture equipment.

During the official visit, Al Zeyoudi held bilateral meetings with Liesje Schreinemacher, Netherland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, and Vice Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Michiel Sweers, in which he commended recent growth in bilateral trade. He noted that, in the first half of 2023, non-oil trade exceeded US$3 billion, a 20 percent increase on the same period in 2022, and 40.3 percent more than the previous half year. Al Zeyoudi also shared developments on the preparations for the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13), to be held in Abu Dhabi in February 2024.

Speaking at the JEC, Al Zeyoudi outlined the broad scope of opportunities for collaboration between the UAE and the Netherlands, especially in sectors aligned with each country’s sustainability vision. He said, “The Netherlands is an important trade partner for the UAE, accounting for approximately a third of total UAE exports to the EU. It also shares our vision for long-term, sustainable economic growth built on knowledge and innovation, and is becoming a critical ally on our journey towards a sustainable future. There are now more than 350 Dutch companies operating in the UAE, active in priority sectors such as water, energy and food production, and through the Joint Economic Committee we look ahead to welcoming many more as we accelerate progress towards an agile, future-proof economy.”

Al Zeyoudi echoed this message during a high-level roundtable, which convened representatives of leading companies and investors to promote private-sector collaboration. Talks covered avenues to develop existing trade and investment ties, and new opportunities in the fields of renewable energy, AI, Agri-tech, and smart mobility solutions. The roundtable discussed the impact of these sectors on climate targets ahead of the United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai, UAE, which will feature the first global stock take.

Al Zeyoudi also took the opportunity to meet executives of a number of pioneering Dutch companies. This included a site visit to Priva BV, a specialist in smart building automation, greenhouse technology and indoor farming. In these meetings, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade promoted the UAE’s dynamic business environment and advanced technology ecosystem as the ideal platform for Dutch enterprises to expand their global reach.

Al Zeyoudi was joined in the Netherlands by a delegation comprising UAE government representatives and business leaders from a range of sectors, including logistics, special economic zones, aviation, tourism, food security, energy, and investment. The next JEC will take place in the United Arab Emirates in 2025.

Source: WAM
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