UAE trade delegation concludes successful visit to Italy

WAM ABU DHABI: A United Arab Emirates trade delegation led by the Ministry of Foreign Trade (MoFT) today concluded its visit to Italy with held meetings with representatives of the country’s largest companies and banks in Milan who expressed a great interest in investing in the UAE.

The delegation includes senior representatives from Mubadala, Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone, ADNOC and the Foreign Investment Office (DED).

The meetings were followed by the convening of the “Developing Business in the UAE” forum, which was the second such forum to be held during the trip – with the first taking place earlier in the city of Padua. The event started with welcoming remarks from the Italian hosts followed by a detailed presentation by Mohammed Nasser Hamdan Al Za’abi, Director of MoFT’s Trade Promotion Department, on the current state of the UAE economy and UAE – Italian economic relations.

The forum also saw the representatives of participating UAE firms and entities conduct presentations of their own on their operations and the opportunities they offer. Discussions also centered on investment opportunities available to Italian and UAE companies in both countries and the UAE’s adopted goal of becoming an industrial base in the region, and the ways by which this effort can be boosted and aided by Italian expertise in a multitude of sectors.

The meeting saw the participation of over 70 prominent Italian businessmen and CEOs representing companies from the Oil and Gas, energy, minerals, ship construction, modern technology, investment, consulting, and banking sectors, as well as high ranking officials from the South European country’s Ministry of Economy ‘&’ Finance and Ministry of Energy. It was widely reported on in Italian media, with newspapers conducting interviews with the UAE delegation’s members and TV Stations such as RAI and CNBC providing coverage.

Majed Al Mail, Mubadala’s representative in the delegation, said: “We in Mubadala are happy to have been invited to take part in the MoFT’s delegation to Italy. Our primary goal is to aid the UAE government’s efforts that aim at introducing the world’s markets to Abu Dhabi’s development strides and economic diversification efforts”. He also pointed out that Mubadala owns and administers investments worth around USD 50 billion and that it is involved in domestic, regional and international investments. He added that the company has established partnerships with some of the world’s top companies to establish investment and development projects in various areas that include the manufacturing of semiconductors, aerospace, energy, healthcare, minerals, communication and information technology, infrastructure, real-estate development, hospitality and services.

Ms. Nadia RInawi, Regional Director of the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zones Authority office in Germany, said that she was happy to see her Authority take part in the delegation and expressed her appreciation of the strategic role played by the Ministry of Foreign Trade in promoting UAE companies and exports abroad, adding that the Authority has succeeded in strengthening its cooperation with various Italian SMEs and that many Italian companies have expressed to her their admiration of the considerable achievements of the RAK Free Trade Zone Authority and its ability to attract a large number of global corporations through its advanced facilitations and services that are offered at suitable and effective rates that enable businesses to enter the region’s market. She drew the example of Italian company “Italfood”, which has established a presence in the RAK Free Trade Zone through which it sells dairy products to the countries of the Middle East and is now expanding its services to also provide its products in the Italian market.

MoFT’s organization of this visit comes as a continuation of the successful promotional tour it conducted last year in Roma, Milan and other Italian cities that led to further developing trade between the two countries, with Italian companies such as CISI, Rina and D’Appolonia, among others, intensifying their commercial operations and activities in the UAE.