(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) Nasser Ahmed Al-sowaidi Chairman of the Department of Economic Development met today at a luncheon at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Hotel with the Turkish Minister of Economy Zafer Caglayan and a delegation accompanying him to participate in the Abu Dhabi-Turkey Business Forum The meeting discussed the cooperation between Abu Dhabi and Turkey in many areas of economic, investment and access to major opportunities and incentives offered by the Governments of the two countries in order to attract more investment, expand trade and enhance opportunities for cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries.
Nasser Al-sowaidi said in a speech at the luncheon held in honour of the Turkish Minister of Economy and the delegation accompanying him, that economic cooperation between Abu Dhabi and the UAE with Turkey is witnessing rapid development, which reflect the desire of the leaders and Governments of the two countries in achieving a strategic partnership involving all fields of economic activities.
Al-sowaidi added that the UAE and Turkey currently enjoyed by many advantages and factors that enable them to start a new phase of economic, trade and investment partnership, that would significant increase the volume of trade exchange between the two sides, and boost joint investments in many development projects, with the participation of the private sectors of the two countries.
He said that based on the directives of his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the Department of Economic Development works to achieve economic development in the Emirate, by enabling the private sector to play its important role in the implementation of development projects, which will contribute to the strengthening of partnership relations and cooperation with many foreign companies.
Al-sowaidi noted that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to come during the next period on the implementation of major development projects pursuant to the strategy and plans of the Government of the Emirate, which recently approved the injection of AED 330 billion ( 90 billion) in development projects over the next five years.
He explained that these projects will provide an opportunity for Turkish companies to enter into partnerships with their counterparts in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which will contribute to the strengthening of partnership and trade relations between Abu Dhabi and Turkey.
Nasser Al Suwaidi expressed his hope that "Abu Dhabi-Turkey Business Forum in will create favorable conditions for the promotion of cooperation between the UAE and Turkish investors to take advantage of emerging opportunities in both countries".
The Turkish Minister of Economy, Zafer Caglayan said that his visit at the head of a delegation of Government and businessmen to Abu Dhabi reflects the sincere desire and great interest of the Turkish Government in enhancing economic and investment ties with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the UAE.
The Minister noted that Turkey attaches great importance to the UAE strategy of building partnership relations and cooperation with countries in the region, believing in the distinguished position of the UAE as an important investment and economic centre in the Middle East, which calls on the Turkish Government to focus its attention towards the UAE, through expansion of official visits and business delegations between the two sides.
The Turkish Minister said that the visiting Turkish business delegation to Abu Dhabi, is keen to tap the investment opportunities offered by Abu Dhabi in the coming period, conclude preliminary agreements that will facilitate the path towards the entry of Turkish companies to Abu Dhabi market, and take advantage of promising opportunities within the package of development projects to be implemented over the coming years.
Recent statistics show that last year experienced a major shift in the bilateral trade between the two sides, as the total non-oil trade between the UAE and Turkey reached AED 33.3 billion during the period (January-March 2012) compared to AED 13.3 billion in 2011.
In particular, Turkish exports to the UAE amounted to AED 23.5 billion during the period (January-March 2012) compared to AED 8.9 billion in 2011, while the UAE's exports to Turkey increased three times during the period (January-March 2012) to mark AED 8.5 billion, compared to the total of trade in 2011. Thus, Turkey has become the third largest importer of non-oil exports from the U.A.E. during the period (January-March 2012), ranking fifth among major trading partners in the UAE during the same period.