ABU DHABI, 18th December, 2022 (WAM) -- Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, led an Emirati delegation of business and investment leaders on a visit to Scotland, to discuss renewable energy projects and other potential areas of cooperation, such as science.
The delegation included Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Under-Secretary of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), and Mansour Abdullah Khalfan Belhoul, UAE Ambassador to the UK.
Dr. Al Zeyoudi held a bilateral meeting in Edinburgh with Angus Robertson, Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, during which they reviewed the course of relations between the two countries, the importance of their partnership, and their shared vision to enhance cooperation.
Dr. Al Zeyoudi also met Ivan McKee, Scotland's Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise. Discussions focused on the growing trade and investment relations between the UAE and Scotland, particularly in relation to food and agricultural products and energy projects, and the opportunity to develop key sectors such as tourism.
The delegation visited the Scottish Enterprise, which highlighted its efforts to transform Scotland's economy through innovation and investment.
The delegation held a meeting at Scottish Development International, where the agency's CEO, Reuben Aitken, showcased the potential for hydrogen production in Scotland and its rapidly developing space sector.
The Emirati delegation was also briefed on a number of industrial success stories in Scotland, including Storegga, which specialises in carbon capture, removal and storage, and XLCC, a company that produces HVDC cables that run deep under the sea. The visit also included a tour of FinTech Scotland and Heriot-Watt University's Industrial Decarbonisation Innovation and Research Centre.
During the visit, Dr. Al Zeyoudi and the accompanying delegation held roundtables with a range of senior government and private business leaders in Scotland, focusing on areas related to renewable energy, infrastructure, trade and establishing pioneering companies and projects, in the presence of top executives from a number of large local companies and government agencies concerned, investment and trade.
Al Zeyoudi expressed his belief that there are great prospects for improving cooperation in priority sectors. He said that the UAE's partnership with Scotland have promising growth prospects, noting that the UAE seeks to enhance comminalities between the two sides to help take economic and trade cooperation to new heights, with a focus on advanced technology, space exploration and carbon neutrality. The UAE is already working on major projects in Scotland through Masdar, such as the offshore wind farm Hywind, and we see plenty of room to develop other projects with a similar impact, Al Zeyoudi added.
The UK is one of the UAE's top trading partners as the volume of bilateral non-oil trade between the two reached US$7.4 billion in the first nine months of 2022, a 32 percent increase compared to the same period in 2021, and also grew by 22.3 percent and 4.4 percent in the same periods in 2020 and 2019 respectively.
The UAE delegation also included Sharif Habib Al Awadi, Director-General of the Fujairah Free Zone Authority, Mohamed Ghareeb Al Hosani, Chief Experience Officer at KEZAD Group, Hussein Al Meer, Director-General, Masdar, UK, and Sultan Hassan Al Ghafili, Director of Engineering Projects at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation.