Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and Lord Mountevans, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, have discussed the excellent relations binding the UAE and Britain and ways of boosting them to better serve the interest of both countries.
The meeting, which was held at the offices of the Ministry in Dubai, was attended by Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al–Shehhi, Under-Secretary of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Economy, and Philip Parham, Ambassador of the United Kingdom.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the latest developments and changes in the level of economic and trade cooperation and coordination between the two countries in a number of sectors of common interest.
The two sides welcomed the strengthening of cooperation in new and innovative areas with the aim of opening wider horizons of joint investments that serve the goals and development plans of both parties, with an emphasis on the importance of speeding up negotiations on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to support innovation between the two countries.
The two sides exchanged views on a number of current economic issues in the international arena, most notably oil prices and the challenges faced by some of the major economic areas, including the euro area.
The Economy Minister stressed that the UAE's economic diversification policy adopted by the government several years ago contributed to the reduction of the negative effects of falling oil prices on the country's economy, meanwhile, the country developed an ambitious vision to drive economic growth away from oil revenues through the revitalisation of economic non-oil sectors, which currently account for about 70 % of the GDP of the state compared to only 30% of the oil.
The meeting also touched on the value-added tax under consideration now by the Gulf Cooperation Council, which is considered, according to Lord Mountevans, as a logical step, noting that the British side is ready to provide various aspects of technical cooperation of support, training and consulting in this regard in the framework of the wide experience enjoyed by the British Kingdom in the field of tax regulations.
The Lord Mayor of the City of London commended the outstanding bilateral relations between the UAE and the United Kingdom, noting that both countries are leading financial centres in the area. He pointed out that he seeks to be briefed on the cooperation opportunities to strengthen bilateral economic ties between the two sides within his tour to a number of GCC countries.
He added that the economic relations between the two countries have witnessed remarkable growth over the past years which was reflected on the trade volume, reaching 12 billion Pounds Sterling during 2014. UAE investments in Britain are witnessing a steady increase, which reflects the depth of bilateral relations between the two countries.