ABU DHABI, The seven initiatives announced following the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council today in Abu Dhabi have been hailed by a number of UAE and Saudi ministers as a translation of the integrated vision held by the two countries towards the central importance of further consolidating trade and socio-economic relations between the two sisterly countries.

The ministers are members of the Executive Committee of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council who convened in Abu Dhabi today with the participation of all 16 members from both sides to follow up on the execution of the joint initiatives outlined in the Strategy of Resolve.

"The UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are two major economic powers, with their economies valued at more than $1.2 trillion," said Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy.

"The two countries are launching the largest urban and tourism developments in the Arab region and their cooperation is resulting in unlocking a considerable investment value, producing more than 25 projects in a number of essential sectors, and tapping myriad job opportunities, not only for their nationals, but for all Arab youth as well," he added.

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council lays down a new basis for Arab diplomacy that efficiently addresses critical and fundamental issues.

He underscored the significant role assumed by the Council at the global scene, politically, economically and socially.

"The Arab world is going through a watershed in its history during which it is facing myriad challenges, the survival of which entails that the two countries adopt an integrated vision toward regional developments. We should not look back on the past. Today Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are spearheading a major transition in the region and all parties concerned should support their efforts to ensure remarkable progress and development in the region," he added.

For his part, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council has laid down the first joint Arab initiative to consolidate vocational education, hailing the Council's youth-centric education and training efforts.

"We have ambitious projects in the education sector in both countries that will provide vocational training opportunities, from which large segments of the two countries' youth will benefit," the minister added.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, underlined the longstanding relations binding the two countries across all economic and social fields.

"The two countries boast significant achievements and share same ambitions. They are working together across different fields, including the media domain to counter fanatic ideologies and terrorism," said Al Jaber.

"The UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading the region at the energy level. There are several initiatives to ramp up cooperation in the field of renewables to increase their contribution to the energy mix in the two countries. The UAE is also collaborating with Saudi Arabia in the field of Oil and Gas, with ADNOC and ARAMCO cooperating together in the downstream industry in order to unlock value and utilise the growing global demand for petrochemicals.

"The UAE is among the Kingdom's top global partners and its first regional partner. Trade exchanges between the two countries grew 20 percent, which is equivalent to SAR14.6 billion, during 2017," the minister said, highlighting the large number of ongoing and future projects and initiatives between the two sides to propel economic cooperation.

Source: Emirates News Agency