MILAN,13th April 2016 (WAM) – Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), headed a delegation from DEWA to Milan, Italy. The trip is encouraging Italian companies to take part in clean and renewable energy projects in the UAE and the Middle East.

The delegation included Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at DEWA, Dr. Yousef Al Akraf, Executive Vice President of Business Support and Human Resources at DEWA, Stephane Le Gentil, CEO of Etihad Energy Services Company (Etihad ESCO), Mohammed Abdul Kareem Al Shamsi, Senior Manager of Sustainability and Climate Change at DEWA, and Ahmed Abdullah, Senior Manager of External Communications at DEWA.

During the delegation’s visit to Milan, Al Tayer highlighted DEWA’s projects and initiatives in clean and renewable energy to Nora Jomaa, Consul General to the United Arab Emirates to Milan, Italy, Dr. Marinella Loddo, Director of ITA Office in Milan, Dr Gianpaolo Bruno, Director of ITA Office in Dubai, Dr Marco Ferioli, Director of SACE Office in Dubai, representatives from SIMEST (Italian Government Project and Trade Finance Agency), representatives from PROMOS (Milan Chamber of Commerce’s Internationalisation Agency), and representatives from UBI Banca, in addition to a large number of representatives from the biggest Italian energy companies.

“The UAE and Italy have an important trade partnership, which distinguishes our relationship. Currently, around 10,000 Italians live in the UAE, making it the largest Italian community in the Middle East and North Africa. And this is the result of significant growth with 600 Italian companies in the UAE today, from 200 in 2011. The current bilateral trade between the UAE and Italy is USD8 billion, with exports being 90% of total foreign trade, which is USD7.1 billion” said Al Tayer.

“The foundations of our close ties were laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE, may his soul rest in peace. These have grown stronger under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” added Al Tayer.

“Italy’s UBI Banca has opened a representative office in Dubai, to advise Italian small and medium enterprises working in the UAE. It has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Etihad Energy Services Company (Etihad ESCO) to support any Italian companies bidding for contracts for the energy-efficient retrofitting programme. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) established Etihad ESCO to boost energy performance contracts by providing financial organisations the opportunity to invest in energy-efficient projects and obtain attractive returns, with the new regulatory framework ensuring that all risks are addressed. Financial institutions can become active partners in the sustainable development vision of Dubai, with plans to retrofit over 30,000 buildings to make them energy-efficient in the first phase of this project at a cost of 30 billion dollars, bringing returns of AED82 billion, and a net profit of AED52 billion, as we place great importance on environmental issues that contribute to the sustainable development of the UAE.”

WAM/bashir