UAE-Guinea Joint Committee holds first meeting in Abu Dhabi.

The "UAE-Guinea Joint Committee" held its first meeting today in Abu Dhabi, which was headed by Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Mamady Toure, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guinea.

Al Hashimy highlighted the deep relations between the UAE and Sub-Saharan African countries, as well as their joint international interests and the vision of their leaders to achieve the economic and social aspirations of their people.

Al Hashimy said that the commercial, economic and diplomatic relations between the UAE and the region's countries have grown to become international partnerships while pointing out that the UAE was granted the right to join the African Union in 2012 as an observer, as the first Arab country to join the organisation.

She added that the UAE's commitment to Sub-Saharan Africa is highlighted by its strong political ties with the region's countries, including the presence of 17 UAE diplomatic missions.

Al Hashimy stressed that the UAE and Guinea have been connected since the start of their diplomatic relations in 1995 while noting the first meeting of the committee today, which reflects the desire of their leadership to develop their political, economic and social ties.

Al Hashimy explained that the political ties between the two countries have witnessed development and prosperity, as the UAE and Guinea have similar opinions regarding key regional and international issues, especially on terrorism and extremism.

Al Hashimy also praised the economic and trade success of both countries, as their commercial exchange grew in 2016 by 253 percent compared to 2015, which was helped by the export of Guinean gold to the UAE while their total trade exchange reached US$1.3 billion in 2016, compared to $365 million in 2015, making the UAE the leading international destination for Guinea's exports in 2016, and the second source of Guinea's international imports in the same year.

Al Hashimy expects the commercial exchange between the two countries to continue growing in the coming years, especially in light of their economic partnerships in various areas, most notably in aluminum. She also noted the launch of the "Emirates Global Aluminum Container Terminal" in Guinea in 2016, which is managed by Abu Dhabi Ports, as well as the launch of Saeba Port, which will provide logistical support for the UAE's mining investments in Guinea.

She praised Emirates airlines' resumption of four weekly trips to the Republic of Guinea at the beginning of 2017, which is a clear indicator of the seriousness of both friendly countries in developing bilateral relations. She noted that the aviation sector is considered the foundation of building economic and cultural bridges, in addition to its essential role in facilitating the movement of passengers and goods to and from the friendly Republic of Guinea, which is expected to develop during the coming years, especially after the signing of the air transport services agreement between both countries.

She asserted that the first meeting of the Joint Committee between the UAE and the Republic of Guinea represents an opportunity for increased co-operation on different levels and in various economic sectors. The UAE strives, through this Committee, to discover more opportunities of bilateral co-operation in the fields of infrastructure, agriculture, food security, labour, mining, logistic services, ports and constructions, given that the size of direct Emirati investments in Guinea is valued at around $479 million since 2003.

This is an encouraging level and it is expected to continue to grow, supported by the keenness of both sides to co-operate and partner in light of the availability of legal infrastructure, represented in the investment protection and encouragement agreement and the agreement on prevention of double taxation on the income between both countries that is coming into effect, she added.

She called on Guinea to benefit from the investment opportunities available in the UAE, which has an exceptional investment environment, excellent infrastructure and a strategic geographic location, which has made it a regional and international commercial and investment centre.

She also thanked Guinea for announcing its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai.

Toure said that the meeting is historic for both countries and will help to strengthen their co-operation and relations.

On the sidelines of the meeting, the UAE-Guinea Economic Forum was held yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation's General Diwan, which discussed opportunities for economic and commercial co-operation and investing in Guinea.

The Guinean delegation conducted a presentation about the investment opportunities in the most promising sectors in Guinea, especially in the industrial and agricultural sectors.


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