ABU DHABI, -- Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade and Industry Affairs at the Ministry of Economy, has said the UAE and Sweden enjoy strong ties based on friendship, mutual respect and interest, while stressing the similarities in the economic policies of both countries, especially on innovation and economic diversification.

He emphasised the importance of the current trade partnership between both countries, noting that foreign non-oil trade between the UAE and Sweden stood at US$1.23 billion in 2015, compared to $807 million in the first nine months of 2016.

Al Saleh added that Scandinavian countries in general, represent some of the most important partners in developing investment and trade co-operation with the UAE, while noting that the foreign non-oil trade with these countries touched $2.9 billion in 2015, and $1.84 billion in the first nine months of 2016.

He made these remarks on behalf of Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, during a session titled "From Oil and Gas to 2021 UAE vision: Creativity and Diversification in the UAE Economy", as part of a forum by Swedish companies held in Abu Dhabi between 12th and 14th March. In his speech, he presented the main foundations of the economic vision of the UAE to move to a post-oil economy and the ways to develop partnerships with Sweden and other Scandinavian countries.

The UAE official added that the UAE represents the main trade pillar in the Middle East, due to the diversity of its economic and trade components, while noting that non-oil sectors constitute 70 percent of its GDP. It is also one of the five main countries that trade in a range of commodities such as tea, rice, coffee and gold, as well as major developments in its industrial sector.

He highlighted that the UAE's secure and stable investment environment and the active trade and economic relations open considerable horizons of co-operation with the business sector in Sweden in particular, and Scandinavian countries in general, especially in sectors that depend on innovation and scientific research.

Al Saleh stressed that the UAE is looking forward to the development of economic, trade and investment co-operation with Sweden through enlarging the scope of partnerships and co-operation in main sectors such as advanced technology, in which Sweden leads.

Source: Emirates News Agency