Moscow: The UAE-Russian relations in general have been growing from strength to strength in recent years driven by the desire of the leadership in both countries to improve synergies and increase trade exchange, UAE Minister of Economy, Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, has affirmed. The growing relationship between the two countries was cemented by the visit of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to Moscow in September 2013, Al Mansouri said in interview for ITAR TASS Russian News Agency.

“Economic ties are usually a reflection of political ties and indicate the level of friendship and trust between any two countries. Numbers give us an indication of how far economic relations between the UAE and Russia have grown. The total volume of trade in 2012 stood at $1.5 billion. Non-oil trade between the two counties soared by 7.5 per cent in 2013 and registered $897 million. In addition to 30 agencies and 124 trademarks, we currently have eight Russian companies registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy. Russian and Emirati businessmen partnered in more than 350 joint ventures in the UAE and more than 40 Russian companies opened representative offices in the UAE. We expect all these numbers to continue registering sustained growth in the immediate future,” the minister added.

On the main areas in which the two countries have identified collaborative opportunities or already ratified agreements, Al Mansouri 
stated that bilateral agreements play a major role in boosting economic ties. The UAE has issued Federal Decree No. 91 of 2013 ratifying the cooperation agreement with Russia in the field of peaceful nuclear energy. Also in 2013, the UAE issued Decree No. 67 that witnessed the inking of an agreement on the protection of investments and relevant protocol. Several other agreements, in the fields of double taxation, aviation, and coordination among the chambers of commerce have also been signed between the two countries.

Addressing major challenges to bilateral ties and means to tackle them, the UAE minister said: “We don’t see any challenges per se. However, there are opportunities that can be further explored. Taking advantage of these opportunities will further boost bilateral ties on economy, trade and investments.”