UAE Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, leading the UAE’s delegation to Algeria, has signed the joint statement of the 10th Joint Committee Meeting between the two countries with Algerian Finance Minister Karim Joudi in the presence of senior officials from both sides. Al Mansouri also met Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Oyehia, and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral trade relations between the UAE and Algeria, while also removing obstacles facing investment projects in the African nation. Oyehia praised the development drive in the UAE and its distinguished position on the world map. “The UAE is strategic hub for Algeria as it is a gateway to the Middle East. We will do our best to offer UAE investors an ideal investment environment in our country,” he added. Al Mansouri said both countries offer strong investment opportunities that should be explored. “The meeting also focused on cooperation in the areas higher education, environment, finance, customs energy, telecommunications and industry,” he added. Al Mansouri said that both sides formed a special committee to monitor the functioning of the UAE investments in Alegria which will contribute to the removal of investment barriers and enhance the performance of these projects at all levels. The committee held its first meeting on the sidelines of the joint committee meetings and agreed to have the second meeting in the fourth quarter of 2012. The Joint Economic Committee meeting agreed to activate the UAE- Algeria Business Council to encourage bilateral trade and boost investments between both countries. The Algerian side presented a proposal for a memorandum of understanding to monitor illegal competition practices and another to enhance cooperation in the domain of consumer protection and to combat commercial fraud. Al Mansouri said: “We agreed to exchange visits and organise common commercial exhibitions and forums and to provide practical mechanisms to remove all obstacles facing trade and exchange of information on legislations and laws related to foreign trade in both the countries.” He added that the meeting highlighted the importance of developing cooperation in the financial field where it was agreed to organise special forums on finance in both countries to exchange information on the laws and legislations and investment environment. In the energy sector, both sides discussed potential for partnerships in oil exploration and to study the possibility of forming common projects in the field of renewable energy.