DUSHANBE, -- The UAE takes a keen interest in promoting co-operation with Tajikistan in all spheres and supports the Tajik government's efforts in improving the country's infrastructure, UAE Minister of Energy, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj, has said while heading a high-level business and government delegation to the central Asian republic.

"Falling oil prices pose a challenge to oil producing countries but have not affected the UAE economy, thanks to a strategy being pursued to achieve economic diversification," the minister said.

President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, who received the UAE minister and delegation, expressed the hope that the visit would contribute towards stronger relations in all spheres.

While noting that it is important to increase trade with the UAE, the president said there was a need to set up a joint Emirati-Tajik investment fund, a joint business council as well as a representative office for Emirati banks in his country.

He confirmed Tajikistan's participation at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, UAE.

Minister Al Mazrouei conveyed the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

President Rahmon requested Al Mazrouei to convey his greetings to the UAE leadership.

The minister also met with a number of Tajik officials including Minister of Economic Development and Trade Nematullo Hikmatullozoda; Minister of Finance Abdusalom Qurbonov; Minister of Industry and New Technologies Shavkat Bobozoda; Chairman of the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management Kodiri Kosim, and Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Jamshed Shoimzoda.

The meetings were held to discuss ways of promoting relations between the two countries in several sectors including hydropower, aviation, logistics, infrastructure, food security.

The officials also discussed the participation of Tajikistan in Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2017, which will coincide with the 15th meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue.

During the visit, a joint UAE-Tajik economic forum was held to enable representatives from several sectors to discuss the investment potential and opportunities in both countries.

The UAE and Tajikistan established diplomatic relations in 1995, and Tajikistan opened its consulate-general in Dubai in 2007 and its embassy in Abu Dhabi in 2011.

Volume of non-oil trade between the UAE and Tajikistan stood at US$25 million.

Emirati national carrier flydubai currently operates three weekly flights to Dushanbe City.

Source: Emirates News Agency