ABU DHABI, -- The economic and trade ties between the UAE and Austria have developed significantly over the past years, with non-oil bilateral trade reaching about US$1.2 billion by the end of 2015 and about US$600 million during the first half of this year, according to Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy.

The figures are expected to grow further in the coming years due to joint efforts by the two countries to raise their level of co-operation, the Minister said during a meeting with Andreas Liebmann, Ambassador of Austria to the UAE.

Austrian investments in the UAE have grown 50 percent over the past 10 years, with more Austrian companies expressing interest to establish their presence in the UAE in order to leverage various economic benefits that the country offers, Liebmann noted.

Considering the potentials of both the countries, there are still opportunities and great possibilities for further investments, Minister Al Mansouri said, adding that the industrial sector will be a key growth area for the UAE in the coming years.

Both parties are keen to enhance economic co-operation, increase trade exchange, encourage investments, and focus on prospective partnerships in industry, tourism, renewable energy, education, scientific research and innovation.

They also agreed to co-ordinate for an economic and trade mission from the UAE that will visit Austria next year.

The UAE takes an interest in benefiting from Austrian expertise in several sectors and renewable energy technology in particular, Al Mansouri said, noting that increasing tourism exchange and engaging in joint investments to develop tourism and destinations in both countries would lead their bilateral relations to new heights of co-operation.

Innovation is a priority for both countries, where further collaboration, exchange of experiences and building partnerships will help accelerate the development of education and scientific research fields, the Minister said.

The Austrian Ambassador said that his country recognises the UAE's prominent role as a trade hub in the region and views it as an attractive investment destination offering well-developed infrastructure, a flexible legislative environment and full support for business growth.

Ambassador Liebmann stressed the significance of continuing collaboration to enhance communication between business people and investors of both countries that will help them explore major investment opportunities.

Source: Emirates News Agency