The UAE-Bulgarian Business Forum, organised by Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, concluded its activities which were held in Abu Dhabi. The Forum emphasised the importance of enhancing bilateral relations, and setting new strategic frameworks that drive economic partnerships by stimulating investment in a number of vital sectors.
The Forum was held in the presence of His Excellency Rumen Radev, President of the Republic of Bulgaria; His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; His Excellency Ahmed bin Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State; Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimi, Minister of State for International Cooperation; His Excellency Abdullah Mohammed Al Mazrui, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and His Excellency Humaid Mohamed ben Salem, Secretary General of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), as well as senior officials and representatives of the private sector from both sides.
His Excellency Rumen Radev, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, said: “It is a privilege to be in a country that serves as a pillar of stability in the region. A strategic collaboration between the UAE and the Republic of Bulgaria is key for opening doors and providing opportunities for economic cooperation in different industries including energy, trade, investment, digital and green technologies, smart solutions, agriculture, defense, education, and other sectors.”
“The UAE has built a strong economy and we are keen to do more business with the country, given its strategic location, best access to the European market, stability, good relations, qualified labour force, and lack of corporate taxation,” His Excellency added.
His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said: “The UAE deeply values our longstanding partnership with Bulgaria, and we are encouraged by the significant progress made across political, economic and cultural areas in recent years. For example, non-oil foreign trade amounted to US$121 million in the first half of 2022, representing a 40 percent growth compared to the same period 2021, and 10 percent growth compared to 2019. Today, Bulgaria ranks as one of the UAE’s top 25 trading partners among European countries.”
“The UAE serves as Bulgaria’s second largest trading partner among GCC countries, accounting for more than 25 percent of its trade with the GCC in 2021. Economic partnerships remain a top priority within the UAE’s foreign cooperation policy. As we pursue an aggressive reform agenda to accelerate and sustain future economic growth. We are also working to expand our trade and investment cooperation with key global partners,” His Excellency added.
In his opening speech, His Excellency Abdullah Mohammed Al Mazrui, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “This Forum aligns with the UAE’s constant efforts and commitment to enhancing its economic relations with the Republic of Bulgaria. We would like to take this opportunity to work hand in hand to promote dialogue that supports the growth of both countries, with a particular focus on some of the fastest-growing industries. These include: Fintech, Construction, Defense, Information and Communications Technology, and Manufacturing. Both our nations share similar aspirations and recognise the potential of these industries in driving sustainable development and economic growth.”
His Excellency added: “The UAE and the Republic of Bulgaria have strong diplomatic relations and economic and cultural ties, which date back to 1991. We are proud of our resilient bilateral relations with the Republic of Bulgaria, which have developed significantly over the past years. Between 2010 and 2021, the imported products from Bulgaria to the UAE increased from USD 37.4 million to USD 132.1 million, a significant growth that reflects the UAE’s trust in the Bulgarian products. Over the same duration, the non-oil exports from the UAE to Bulgaria increased from USD 9.1 million to USD 17.9 million, which is indicative of the UAE’s efforts to achieve economic diversification and Bulgaria’s trust and support for the UAE to achieve this objective.”
His Excellency stressed the importance of Abu Dhabi Chamber’s role in enhancing strategic cooperation with different countries, driving investment, and contributing to promoting economic growth, highlighting the Abu Dhabi’s competitive features, which established its position as a global business hub.
Some of the key officials who attended the Forum included: His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, First Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s Board of Directors; and His Excellency Saeed Ghumran Al Remeithi, Vice-Treasurer of the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s Board of Directors. Attendees from Abu Dhabi Chamber’s board members included: Khalifa Saif Darweesh Al Ketbi, Nour Al Tamimi, and Dr. Khadija Al Amiri.
The Forum shed light on the main opportunities and trends for enhancing bilateral cooperation. It showcased the UAE’s prosperous business environment, which attracts foreign direct investment (FDI), as well as its sustainability and effective and flexible legislative framework in the region.
At the conclusion of the Forum, a number of officials from both countries gave presentations on key investment opportunities in the different sectors, including Fintech, Construction, Defense, Information and Communications Technology, and Manufacturing, which are the most attractive sectors for attracting FDI. In addition, a number of bilateral meetings were held between official, businessmen, and investors from both sides.