President holds consultation on Armenian-UAE economic cooperation agenda


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Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to the United Arab Emirates Gegham Gharibjanyan reported to President Serzh Sargsyan on the agenda of bilateral economic relations, on the work done to develop and deepen joint action in prospective spheres of cooperation between Armenia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as on the status of the agreements reached at a high level. The regular meeting on the economic component of Armenia’s foreign policy was attended by the heads of interested ministries and government departments coordinating the areas of mutual interest with the UAE.

Noting that the friendship of the Armenian and Arab peoples has centuries-old history, and the development of relations with the Arab world is one of the priorities of Armenia’s foreign policy, the President of Armenia stressed that our country has been actively developing relations with the countries of the Gulf region, especially with the United Arab Emirates, where the Armenians and their business skills are well known, which creates favorable conditions for the development of economic relations.

“We are engaged in a high level political dialogue with the United Arab Emirates, and the political dialogue has a decisive significance in the field of economic relations. The political dialogue itself does not lead to the activation of economic relations, but the existing potential can be bolstered through properly coordinated work.

Indeed, we should clearly state the achievements we have had in this field during the past two years, including the ones recorded in 2017. The comparison of the January-July trade turnover with the index of the same period in 2016 inspires optimism: the overall level of trade exchanges has increased 2.5 times.

There are great opportunities to cooperate in industry, jewelry and especially in food production. I think we have great potential for developing tourism.

Look, we have lifted the visa requirement for UAE citizens. Two of the Emirates are operating regular flights towards Armenia at affordable prices.

This year, tens of thousands of Filipinos have visited Armenia, with most of them being employed in the Emirates. We have the opportunity to host hundreds of thousands of such tourists in Armenia. I think we must use this opportunity.

Here, I would like to highlight the investment forum held in Abu Dhabi this March, which I think should be continued. Yes, we have to make efforts to represent Armenia there, and we also have to take part in similar major events. These are just those mandatory and minimum conditions that will enable us to activate our economic relations with the UAE. I want all of us to realize that the UAE is not just a State with which we want to deepen our relations. The UAE is a State of great importance to the Gulf countries due to the fact that they feed the markets in these countries.

The second point is that both the UAE Government and the business circles highly appreciate Armenia’s capabilities as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. I feel us bound by duty to double and triple the commodity turnover in a year or one and a half years. I hope that in the foreseeable future we will be back for a high-level dialogue, either in Armenia or in the Emirates, since there is sharp willingness to that effect both in the business community and among the political leadership. Now we have such an opportunity,’ President Serzh Sargsyan said.

During the consultation, a number of assignments were given to the ministries and agencies concerned.

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