Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy of the UAE, and Miroslav Lajcak, Slovakia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the UAE-Slovakian Joint Economic Committee (JEC).
The UAE-Slovakian Joint Economic Committee which will comprise representatives of government authorities and business communities from the two countries will be tasked, among other things, with identifying appropriate measures and new opportunities to facilitate, expand and enhance bilateral economic cooperation.
According to the agreement, the new joint committee will hold its first meeting next year to contribute towards enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries with a focus on sectors such as finance, banking, tourism, agriculture, transport and industry.
During his meeting with Minister Lajcak, Al Mansouri said that the establishment of the new joint committee ushers in a new era of relations and cooperation between the two countries enhancing opportunities for wider economic cooperation and contributing towards establishing a strong economic and investment partnership between the two countries, increasing their trade, setting up joint investment projects based on the available opportunities and encouraging the private sectors to play a better role in the bilateral relations.
The signing of the MoU took place in the presence of Robert Kalinak, Slovakia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, other senior Slovakian officials, during a visit to Bratislava by a UAE trade mission led by Al Mansouri. The mission also visited the Czech Republic.
The joint committee, added Al Mansouri, will enhance communications between business people and entrepreneurs from both countries to encourage participation in joint economic forums and exhibitions and cooperation between the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sectors, in addition to studying developmental and investment projects in the UAE, Slovakia and other countries.
He added that non-oil trade between the UAE and Slovakia totalled Dh901 million in 2013, and Dh552 million in the first half of 2014.
He noted that that while Bratislava is a transport hub in the middle of Europe, the UAE, also thanks to geographic location, is a major trade gateway between the East and West with world-class infrastructure including airports, seaports and modern road network and a favourable investment climate and modern legislation.
Al Mansouri added that the Ministry of Economy will provide all facilities and services in all sectors for Slovakian business planning to pump investments in the UAE.