H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed chairs UAE-Turkmen Joint Ministerial Committee meeting

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, chaired a meeting of the UAE-Turkmenistan Joint Ministerial Committee in Ashgabat on Wednesday.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah thanked Turkmenistan for hosting the meeting, expressing the hope that the committee would succeed in reaching its desired goals in serving the common interests of the two friendly countries.

In his opening remarks, Sheikh Abdullah said, “This meeting is a valuable opportunity to promote and develop bilateral relations and is an effective platform for discussing proposals and practical solutions to improve the those relations.”

He also expressed the hope that the discussions would achieve “tangible results that will provide both sides with promising opportunities, including investment and incentives that will contribute to enhancing the role of both the private and government sectors to serve common objectives and interests.”

Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE is eager to enhance its cooperation with Turkmenistan in various fields, including energy, renewable energy, transportation, telecommunications, logistics, banking, meteorology, tourism, culture and the environment, as well as in the private sector.

Commenting on existing significant collaborations between the two countries in the fields renewable energy, Sheikh Abdullah noted the successful partnership between the UAE’s Dragon Oil, an upstream oil and gas company, and the Government of Turkmenistan. Dragon is one of the largest companies investing in the oil sector in Turkmenistan and produces around 100 thousand barrels per day.

He said, “Investments between the two countries are still in their early stages… However, we expect them to witness a steady growth following the agreement to protect and encourage investment, and the amendment of the convention on the avoidance of double taxation on income between the two countries.”

According to 2016 statistics, more than 1,600 Turkmens reside in the UAE, while the number of Turkmen tourists visiting the UAE reached more than 28,000 this year, reflecting the development of tourism, trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries, Sheikh Abdullah said. He also welcomed the idea of establishing a working group representing the private sector in both countries.

Rashid Meredov, Deputy Chairman of the Turkmen Council of Ministers and Foreign Minister, who headed the Turkmen side during the meeting, welcomed Sheikh Abdullah’s visit and referred to the deep bilateral relations between the two governments. He also noted the importance of strengthening cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, renewable energy and others.

Later, the two ministers signed a protocol of the UAE-Turkmen Second Joint Committee.

Sheikh Abdullah and Meredov also witnessed the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding between the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the Government of Turkmenistan to contribute to the financing of a number of development projects as part of the Economic Development of Turkmenistan Programme 2014�2018. The MoU was signed by Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Fund, and Raheem Berdi Jubarov, President of the Board of Directors of the Turkmen State Bank for External Economic Affairs.

In addition, Sheikh Abdullah and Meredov discussed ways of strengthening relations in a number of other fields, including political, economic, investment, humanitarian, educational and cultural.

The meeting was attended by Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, Dr. Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, Hasan Al Zarouni, UAE Ambassador to Turkmenistan, and Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs