PRESS RELEASE 210
State Secretary for Global Spain travels to United Arab Emirates to strengthen economic diplomacy ties between two countries

• Manuel Muñiz held bilateral meetings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with senior representatives of the economy, diplomacy and innovation in the country, key for Spain’s international relations

• The State Secretary for Global Spain thus begins his international agenda by making this trip, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Moncloa Economic Office and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, focused on developing economic diplomacy with key countries

08/12/2020

​The State Secretary for Global Spain, Manuel Muñiz, together with the Director-General for Economic Diplomacy, Luis Óscar Moreno, made an official trip to the United Arab Emirates on Monday and Tuesday to step up economic diplomacy ties and relations between the two countries, at a time of strategic opportunity for the economic growth of our country tied to the approval of the National Budget and the upcoming arrival of the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Funds.

This trip by the State Secretary for Global Spain is the first on an international agenda, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Moncloa Economic Office and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, focused on developing economic diplomacy with key countries for Spain’s interests in a global scenario that is preparing for the post-COVID-19 recovery.

As Manuel Muñiz underlined, “we are working to extend, through economic diplomacy, a window of opportunity that leads to the extension of the influence of strategic partners on the Spanish economy. In short, it is a question of multiplying the transforming effort proposed in the government’s Recovery and Resilience Plan”.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the main investors in Spain, with 6 billion euros of accumulated investment in 2018. Bilateral economic relations between the UAE and Spain have grown at a good pace. In 2019, before the blow on the global economy from COVID-19, the UAE became, for the first time in ten years, the main customer for Spanish exports in the Middle East, ahead of Saudi Arabia. Although the bilateral trade balance is historically favourable to Spain, the government is working to increase the trade volume from this country.

Stepping up ties

Manuel Muñiz held meetings yesterday (Monday) in Abu Dhabi with the Minister of State for Economic Diplomacy, Ahmed Ali Sayegh; with the CEO of the Petroleum and Petrochemicals platform of the Mubadala Investment Company, Mussabeh Al Kaabi; and with the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Thani Ahmed Azeyoudi.

Today in Dubai, the State Secretary for Global Spain has met with Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director of the Dubai Universal Exhibition, which will be held for the first time in a Middle Eastern country between October 2021 and March 2022. Spain’s presence at ExpoDubai will allow our country’s cultural and economic visibility to be stepped up, through a pavilion run by Spanish Cultural Action, the central theme of which will be the value of Spanish origins and traditions and their projection towards the future. The pavilion will be structured around a bridge between tradition and innovation, with a strong emphasis on sustainability.

In order to enhance the field of new technologies and innovation, the State Secretary for Global Spain held a meeting with the Minister of State for Digital Economy, Artificial Intelligence and Remote Work Applications, Omar bin Sultan Al Olaman, with whom he exchanged information on the buoyant time for digital innovation, in which the UAE is a global benchmark. At this meeting, Manuel Muñiz reported on the drafting of the Technology and Global Order Strategy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The day ended with his attendance at an event to set up the Association of Spanish Teachers and a meeting with the Spanish community in the UAE, following the line of work of Global Spain focused on structuring and better connecting communities of Spanish citizens that live abroad. Close to 8,000 professional Spaniards live in the UAE, the largest Spanish community in Middle East and throughout Asia.

 

 

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