The United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Kyrgyzstan have agreed to strengthen trade cooperation as well as foster business and investment partnerships to accelerate the sustainable economic growth of both the nations. The two countries have agreed to cooperate in the fields of agriculture, food security, manufacturing industries, energy, renewable energy, IT, innovation, tourism, culture, logistical transport, industry, entrepreneurship, Islamic finance and securities, banking services, and education.
Asserting that the UAE and the Republic of Kyrgyzstan have strong and enduring bilateral ties, His Excellency Bin Touq pointed out that these relations are witnessing remarkable development in various fields – particularly economy, trade, and investment. Bin Touq highlighted that the recent exchange of high-level official visits between the two nations is a result of the determination of the wise leadership in both the countries to deepen ties and drive toward wider horizons of cooperation.
This came during the meeting of the second edition of the joint economic committee between the two countries, in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The committee was chaired by His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, and His Excellency Aqlbek Jabarov, Prime Minister of the Kyrgyzstan Republic, in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; His Excellency Juma Muhammad Al-Kait, Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy; His Excellency Abdilatif Jumabaev, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the UAE; and His Excellency Kanat Abdrahmanov, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade of the Kyrgyzstan Republic, with the participation of several Representatives of federal and local government entities, businessmen and private sector representatives from both countries.
The committee witnessed the signing of several memorandum of cooperation between the UAE and Kyrgyzstan. The agreements encompassed a wide range of businesses and other commercial pursuits, most notably those in the food, agricultural, industry, and renewable energy sectors. The committee also concurred that the next stage should simplify the export and import of goods and services between the two nations to foster the future of food security in the markets of both the nations.
The committee recommended setting up a joint working group to coordinate and define meetings and workshops in which investors, businessmen and representatives of the private sector from both countries would participate. These meetings and workshops would strengthen channels of communication between the Emirati and Kyrgyz business communities and inform them of investment opportunities and vital commercial projects on an ongoing basis.
Bin Touq added: “The meeting of the UAE-Kyrgyz Committee represents a crucial step in strengthening the economic ties between the two friendly nations and advancing their future levels of growth and prosperity. Furthermore, it will open up additional potential for cooperation and partnership in a number of crucial economic areas and help investors find more lucrative investment opportunities in the markets of the two nations.”
Noting that the UAE was the top trading partner of Kyrgyzstan in the GCC countries and the region in 2021, His Excellency said the volume of non-oil trade between the two countries amounted to more than AED 3.67 billion during the first 9 months of 2022, a growth of 66 per cent compared to the same period in 2021 and 63 per cent and 56 per cent over the same period in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Over the past few years, the inter-tourism between the two nations has also seen qualitative leaps in the exchange of tourist delegations and the growth in the number of trips, as more than 16,000 Emirati tourists visited the Kyrgyz Republic in 2021. The UAE and Kyrgyzstan underscored the significance of the tourist growth and collaboration that the two nations have experienced during the last period.
During the meeting, His Excellency encouraged the Kyrgyz business community to participate in the trade and investment events and exhibitions that the UAE hosts annually, such as the annual investment meeting AIM, the GITEX technology exhibition, and the Gulf Food Exhibition “Gulfood,” in addition to leveraging the resources and abilities that the nation possess as a hub for trade and investment and a significant economic entryway into the region and Asia as a whole.
His Excellency reviewed the comprehensive development of the economic legislation system, including allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies, flexible tax policies and simplification of business establishment procedures and highlighted the most notable investment incentives and opportunities offered by the business and investment environment in the country in various commercial sectors, particularly in the sectors of technology, financial activities, insurance, transportation.
His Excellency Aaklbik Jabarov, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan said: “The meetings of the Joint Governmental Economic Committee’s second session between the regions of Kyrgyzstan and the UAE were very successful, and new agreements that would support and deepen the Kyrgyz-UAE collaboration in the fields of investment and trade, as well as economy, tourism, agriculture, cultural, humanitarian, educational, and various other fields were reached to fruition. He further emphasized that Kyrgyzstan places a high value on expanding collaboration with the UAE in order to strengthen the expanding relationship.”
His Excellency emphasized the significance of the visit of H.E. Sadyr Japarov, President of Kyrgyz Republic, to the UAE in November, which led to the signing of several significant bilateral agreements intended to advance cooperation between the two nations in a variety of areas. His Excellency said, “We began a significant collaborative effort with the UAE to launch and create more potential for collaboration between the two countries in direct investment. Kyrgyzstan has been keen to increase the flow of investments between the two sides in several crucial industries.”
Meanwhile, His Excellency Al-Zeyoudi said: “By strengthening joint economic and investment cooperation, encouraging the possibility of establishing projects in various commercial sectors, and stepping up efforts to increase and diversify trade exchange commodities, we look forward to creating a new phase through the committee meeting that supports the growth and sustainability of the economies of the two countries. This will further help to increase the growth of bilateral trade and mutual investments, in accordance with “We are the Emirates 2031” initiative that aims at positioning the country’s position as a global partner and an attractive and influential economic centre.”
His Excellency emphasised that the non-oil trade between the two countries has grown steadily over the past five years, increasing from AED 1.14 billion in 2017 to more than AED 3 billion in 2021, making Kyrgyzstan one of the UAE’s most significant economic partner in the Central Asian region. Other trade increased to 164 per cent over that time, while Emirati non-oil exports to Kyrgyzstan increased by 705 per cent. Additionally, the UAE is responsible for 99.7 per cent of Kyrgyzstan’s imports from the Gulf nations and 98 per cent of the country’s exports to the GCC nations.
In the first nine months of 2022, the total amount of re-exports from the UAE to Kyrgyzstan reached AED 3 billion, an increase of 81 per cent over the same period in 2021. In contrast, the total amount of national non-oil exports to Kyrgyzstan reached AED 410 million, an increase of 203 per cent over the same period in 2021.
Discussing increasing direct foreign investments between the two countries
The UAE and Kyrgyzstan have agreed to establish new mechanisms and action plans that would boost bilateral ties in a variety of economic and trade fields, support direct foreign investment growth between the two nations in sectors of shared interest, and increase the number of investment opportunities for investors and businesses in both nations.
Enhancing cooperation in the fields of energy and renewable energy during the next stage
The committee addressed enhancing bilateral cooperation in the areas of energy and renewable energy during the following phase and leveraging the UAE’s expertise to improve the future of sustainable energy for the two nations. The first phase is set to be building a 200-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in Kyrgyzstan, along with plans to deploy brand-new initiatives in the field of recycling household and commercial waste.
Agreement to increase tourism flows between the two countries
In order to increase tourist flows and the number of flights, the committee further decided to intensify UAE and Kyrgyzstan’s collaboration in tourism to enhance travel, aviation, and hospitality by offering special travel deals, expediting cooperation between tourism businesses in the two nations, and promoting tourist resources and attractions.
Promoting investment in the sectors of the new economy
Additionally, the committee further addressed investment potential in the fields of technology, industry, cyber security, artificial intelligence, innovation, and manufacturing to support the UAE’s goal for investment in the sectors of the new economy.
Exchange of expertise and knowledge in the field of medical sciences
In the sphere of medical sciences, particularly genetics and genomics, the UAE and Kyrgyzstan agreed to share experiences, expertise, and training.
Expanding cooperation in the educational field
Within the framework of the agreement signed between the education ministries of the two nations, efforts will be made to facilitate seamless exchange of expertise and knowledge to implement new projects in this field during the next stage. This move will serve the future of the educational sector in the two nations and aid in its development with best international practices and increase cooperation in the education ecosystem.