UAE, Greece discuss economic relations within Comprehensive Strategic Partnership framework

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technolog and COP28 President, led a delegation to Greece as part of an official working visit, comprising government officials and private sector representatives.

During the visit, Dr. Al Jaber held several bilateral meetings with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece; George Gerapetritis, Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Kostas Skrekas, Minister of Development.

The visit underscored the flourishing strategic ties between the two friendly countries, marked by significant progress across vital sectors. The recent progress reflects the commitment of both countries’ leadership to deepen cooperation, paving the way for further strategic collaborations.

In a meeting with the Greek Prime Minister, Dr. Al Jaber conveyed the UAE leadership’s greetings and keenness to further bolster strategic relations, particularly in mutually beneficial sectors. He emphasised fostering sustainable investments and economic cooperation.

In turn, the Greek Prime Minister lauded the UAE’s successful hosting of COP28, praising the groundbreaking outcome, the “UAE Consensus” that delivered an unprecedented and historic agreement with all participating nations, setting ambitious goals to support climate action efforts to achieve a logical, practical, and just transition in the energy sector. The Greek side also commended the achievements of COP28 under the Action Agenda, including the launch of 11 pledges and declarations and mobilising over US$85 billion to finance global climate action.

The two sides discussed means of fostering cooperation within the UAE-Greece Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which was signed during the visit of the Greek Prime Minister to the UAE in November 2020. This partnership encompasses various areas of cooperation such as political cooperation, international humanitarian development, trade, investment, tourism, culture, energy, digital services, artificial intelligence, food, agriculture, defence, infrastructure, and logistics.

They also reviewed the latest developments of the €4 billion (US$4.2 billion) joint investment fund launched in May 2022, in the presence of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Greek Prime Minister. Since its establishment, the fund has played a strategic role in supporting key sectors of the Greek economy and facilitating relevant investment activities.

The fund’s joint steering committee held a meeting during the visit to discuss promising investment opportunities, aiming to foster sustainable and long-term partnerships beneficial to both countries.

The two sides reiterated the significance of enhancing cooperation in digital, governmental services, and artificial intelligence fields, exploring available opportunities to support effective collaboration between governmental and private institutions in both countries.

In February 2023, the UAE Ministry of Investment and the Greek Ministry of Digital Governance signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a framework for investments in digital infrastructure with a focus on data centre projects in Greece to explore opportunities for cooperation in targeted economic sectors.

The two sides also witnessed the signing of an MoU between Mubadala Investment Company and the Hellenic Development Bank of Investments to expand their existing partnership with a €200 million investment. This complements the €400 million partnership established in 2018, contributing to enhanced cooperation in emerging and private investments in Greek funds focusing on high-growth sectors.

An agreement was also inked to implement projects under the “GR-Eco Islands” initiative between Masdar and the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy, aiming to accelerate the transition of these islands into green economic models powered by clean energy and digital innovation.

As part of “GR-Eco Islands” Initiative, Masdar will develop infrastructure projects in some islands, transfer its expertise and best practices in energy efficiency, and support Greece’s efforts to achieve the initiative’s objectives, including increasing the use of renewable energy in transportation, agriculture, tourism, and infrastructure sectors, creating an eco-friendly model, and sustainable management of water and waste.

This preliminary cooperation agreement was signed between the two sides during COP28, consolidating Masdar’s commitment to sponsor green infrastructure projects.

Dr. Al Jaber commended Greece’s efforts in climate action and its support for the UAE’s COP28 presidency. He emphasised the importance of collaboration to achieve the goals set in the ‘UAE Consensus” through practical solutions to mitigate climate change impacts. He also commended Greece’s support for financial and technological initiatives to achieve climate resilience worldwide, activating the European role in this field and supporting the transition to a fuel-free energy system, aiming to achieve climate neutrality and mitigate the effects of climate change while protecting historical sites and buildings.

The UAE delegation included Mohammed Abdulrahman Al Hawi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Investment; Hamad Al Hammadi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at ADQ; Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar; Khaled Al Shamlan Al Marri, Chief Executive Officer of Real Estate and Infrastructure Investments at Mubadala; and Meera Al Suwaidi, Head of Sovereign Partnerships at Mubadala Investment Company,

The non-oil trade volume between the two countries reached approximately AED1.97 billion in 2022 (exceeding COVID-19 pandemic levels by over 60 percent), while it grew by about 6.2 percent during the first nine months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, recording about AED1.6 billion. This growth was driven by the growth of re-export trade, which increased by about 58 percent.