UAE and Austria discuss strategic partnership developments, boosting cooperation

The UAE-Austria non-oil trade volume grew 18 percent YoY, hitting $1 billion in the first nine months of 2023
UAE and Austria discuss strategic partnership developments, boosting cooperation
UAE is the largest GCC trading partner for Austria. (Photo Credit: WAM)

During a visit to Vienna, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, held meetings with top Austrian officials, including Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Schallenberg, and Finance Minister Dr. Magnus Brunner. Dr. Al Jaber conveyed the UAE leadership’s greetings and expressed their commitment to enhancing cooperation between the UAE and Austria. Dr. Sultan praised the longstanding and thriving relationship between the two countries, which has spanned 50 years, and highlighted the recent Comprehensive Strategic Partnership announced in 2021. He also underscored the importance of expanding existing ties through new collaborations that drive mutually beneficial and sustainable economic growth, as well as joint investments that support economic diversification and cooperation in vital sectors.

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Advancing strategic ties

Dr. Al Jaber also commended Austria’s active participation in COP28, where it announced an increase in its contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and supported initiatives to boost renewable energy production and energy efficiency. He also acknowledged Austria’s commitments in areas such as agriculture, food systems, and health.

The Austrian side expressed their appreciation for the strategic ties and affirmed their commitment to advancing them across various sectors within the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This partnership encompasses political, economic, trade, financial, cultural, advanced technology, artificial intelligence (AI), infrastructure, energy, and renewable energy fields. They congratulated the UAE on its successful presidency and organization of COP28, highlighting the UAE Consensus to transition away from fossil fuels and other strategic initiatives to accelerate global climate action. Both sides underlined the importance of building on the outcomes of the conference and working together to implement them.

UAE Austria
Photo Credit: WAM

Strengthening bilateral relations

The first ministerial meeting of the UAE-Austria Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was chaired by Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and Alexander Schallenberg. The meeting covered a wide range of topics, including developments in bilateral relations, diplomatic cooperation, international collaboration to address global crises, economic cooperation, energy, trade, industry, advanced technology (including AI and data centers), cross-sectoral partnerships, and collaboration in arts, culture, and heritage. The meeting also focused on investment developments and the need to boost joint investments in priority sectors such as energy, climate action, diversification of energy sources, and the role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in both countries.

The outcomes of the UAE-Austria Joint Economic Committee meeting held in Dubai in December 2023 were praised, as well as the recently signed Air Transport Services Agreement, which will enhance trade, cooperation, and opportunities in the aviation sector. Additionally, a cooperation agreement to promote the adoption of artificial intelligence in various sectors was discussed.

UAE largest GCC trading partner for Austria

The UAE is the top investment partner for Austria in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and ranks sixth globally, with Emirati investments totaling approximately $8.2 billion in 2023 (accounting for 4 percent of total foreign investment flows in Austria). Austria stands as the 10th trading partner for the UAE at the European Union level. Among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the UAE is Austria’s largest trading partner, accounting for 43 percent of Austria’s total trade with GCC countries, and ranks second among Arab countries, with 16 percent of Austria’s total trade with Arab countries. The non-oil trade volume between the UAE and Austria in the first nine months of 2023 witnessed a year-on-year growth of 18 percent, reaching around $1 billion.

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