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UAE Delegation in Switzerland to Boost Bilateral Trade Relations

A high-level UAE delegation, spearheaded by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, has embarked on a mission to Switzerland aimed at fortifying economic cooperation and augmenting investment ties between the two nations. The visit comes on the heels of remarkable growth in non-oil trade, which surged to an impressive $22.3 billion in 2023, marking a substantial 41.2 percent increase from the preceding year, as reported by the Emirates News Agency. Al Zeyoudi, at the helm of the delegation, led discussions in Bern and Basel, engaging with senior government officials and key stakeholders from the private sector to bolster economic collaboration. Meetings with Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, represented by Helen Budliger Artieda, underscored mutual appreciation for the depth of economic relations and the flourishing trade exchange between the two nations.

One of the highlights of the visit was the inauguration of the UAE-Swiss Economic Forum, held in Bern, which provided a platform for business leaders, investors, and representatives from major companies to explore lucrative investment opportunities and foster promising partnerships. In his keynote address, Al Zeyoudi underscored the enduring strength of Emirati-Swiss relations, commemorating 50 years of diplomatic partnerships and emphasizing the shared vision for mutual economic prosperity through collaboration. Switzerland holds significant importance as a trade and investment partner for the UAE, ranking fourth globally and first in Europe. Al Zeyoudi highlighted Switzerland’s stature as one of the largest destinations for non-oil Emirati exports, valued at $9.55 billion in 2023. He stressed the pivotal role of the UAE-Swiss Economic Forum in facilitating dialogue between the public and private sectors, nurturing avenues for prosperity, and forging new partnerships that drive Emirati-Swiss economic relations forward.

The minister lauded recent economic cooperation initiatives between the two nations, citing the benefits and incentives available in the vibrant business environment of the UAE for Swiss companies and investors. Noteworthy among these is the Next Generation Foreign Direct Investment program, which recently supported Swiss cybersecurity firm ZENDATA in establishing its presence in the UAE. Accompanying Al Zeyoudi on the visit were esteemed officials including Hissa Abdulla Al-Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to Switzerland; Fatima Mohamed Al-Kaabi, Director-General of the Emirates Pharmaceuticals Foundation; and Ahmed Khalifa Al-Qubaisi, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among others. The delegation’s itinerary included visits to major Swiss companies, including Novartis and Pilatus Aircraft, to explore potential collaborations and innovative advancements in various sectors. With representatives from key sectors such as banking, finance, aviation, trade, investment, healthcare, and advanced technology, the UAE delegation’s visit underscores the multifaceted nature of bilateral relations and the shared commitment to fostering growth and prosperity.

As the UAE continues to expand its global footprint, initiatives such as this serve as catalysts for deepening economic ties, fostering innovation, and unlocking new avenues for collaboration between nations. The visit to Switzerland reaffirms the commitment of both countries to nurturing a dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership in the years to come.