Tuesday 29 November 2022 - 5:52:09 am

UAE, Russia foreign trade hits $4 billion in 2021: Russian Minister

By Lina Ibrahim

ABU DHABI, 12th December, 2021 (WAM) -- Total foreign trade between Russia and the UAE is set to reach around US$4 billion by the end of this year, said Sergey Cherimin, Minister of the Government of Moscow, head of the Moscow Department for Foreign Economic Activity and International Relations. In 2020, this figure stood at $3.3 billion.

In an exclusive interview with Emirates News Agency (WAM), following the signing of a programme of cooperation between the Abu Dhabi Government and the Government of Moscow, Cherimin said that trade turnover between the organisations registered in Moscow and their UAE's partners was 1.6-fold higher in H1 2021, compared to the same period of 2020. "As of today, several dozens of operating companies with Emirati funds in their authorised capital are registered in Moscow. In return, Russian companies have opened offices in the UAE, and today there are more than 4,000 of them," he said.

Commenting on the signed cooperation agreement, Cherimin highlighted that the framework of the programme involves close cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, health, education, culture and urbanism, including an exchange of professional delegations and sharing best practices.

"I am sure that the signing of the Cooperation Programme between the two capitals will define a new stage in the relations between our cities, and will contribute to the existing partnership relations between our countries," he said.

Moscow is one of the largest megalopolises in the world and the centre of attraction for domestic and foreign investments thanks to its well-developed infrastructure, human capacity, high intellectual, scientific and consumer potential, which attracts not only foreign companies, but also millions of tourists.

The Russian capital accounts for about 14 percent of all investment in fixed capital and about half of the foreign direct investment in the country. According to the Financial Times rating of the most attractive cities for foreign direct investment in Europe (fDi's European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19), Moscow ranked second in investment attractiveness among major European cities and first among the cities of Eastern Europe.

The Russian official clarified that more than two-thirds of the investments are focused on banking, consulting and insurance services, IT, as well as in mechanical engineering, electronics, communications and aircraft construction. "Foreign investors are attracted by the reduced cost of doing business, favourable legislation, and the measures taken by the Moscow City Government to improve the investment climate, including support for the real sector, especially during the pandemic. We urge the UAE investors to actively explore the Moscow market, which currently has great opportunities for business development," Cherimin said.

The programme of cooperation between the Abu Dhabi Government and the Government of Moscow was signed within the framework of the Days of Moscow in the UAE.

"A couple of months ago Moscow got acquainted with the rich cultural heritage of the United Arab Emirates during the UAE Culture Days in the Russian capital. Holding the Days of Moscow in return is a token of appreciation and an invaluable opportunity to present the diversity of our city and to establish a dialogue between the representatives of business and state which can deepen the dynamic development of Russia and the UAE partnership in the future," Cherimin said.

As part of the Moscow Days, official meetings and events were held at Expo 2020 Dubai to showcase achievements and potentially establish cooperation in areas such as the development of urban infrastructure, creation of innovation clusters and support for creative industries. Among the cultural events were thematic drawing workshops for children, Russian opera and jazz music performances, as well as contemporary art, street art and graffiti creations.

"I hope that the Days of Moscow in the UAE were bright and memorable events that have left a positive impression on the residents and will become the next big step towards further strengthening our partnership relations," Cherimin said.

According to the Russian official, in the past few years, there has been a substantial increase in contacts between Moscow and the UAE. "We have witnessed a qualitative increase in our UAE partners' interest in Moscow projects and solutions." Among those projects are those related to the enhancement of transport infrastructure, safe and smart city space, as well as the projects implemented in the field of property development and hospitality sector.

"Moscow, like the UAE, is following the path of sustainable and environmentally friendly development. Over the years of bilateral cooperation we have done a lot to create favourable conditions for Moscow companies to enter the UAE market and for UAE companies to enter the Moscow market," he said.

Moscow has been developing predominantly electric public transport, such as battery-electric buses. The city pro-actively promotes electric carsharing, expands special parking lots for electric cars, and builds new electric vehicle charging stations. Tram routes are being rolled out, new underground lines are being constructed, and Muscovites and guests of the city proactively use electric scooters and bikes.

Commenting on his visit to Expo 2020 Dubai, Cherimin said that there has never been an event of this scale in the Arab world before.

"Expo 2020 Dubai helps everyone not just discover the East, but also get familiarised with the latest achievements of the global community. And I believe that the event has contributed to building stronger relations between the UAE and Russia, as well as with the rest of the world," he said.

Russia has applied to host the World Expo in Moscow in 2030 under the slogan "Human Progress. A Shared Vision for a World of Harmony".

"Moscow is eager to share its best practices in green spaces and smart transport infrastructure, as well as its experience in building a comfortable ecosystem. If we win, we will make every effort to ensure the highest level of Expo 2030," he concluded.