Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, recently met with the Finnish Ambassador to the UAE, Ms. Rita Swan, at the Ministry’s headquarters in Dubai to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations at the economic and commercial levels. The two parties also supported the exchange of investments and more joint cooperation specifically in the areas of information and communications technology, innovation, development and research, and aviation. They welcomed the possibility of opening direct flights between the two countries to further promote trade and tourism.

Ms. Swan handed H.E. Eng. Al Mansouri a letter of invitation from Finland’s Minister of Economy encouraging him to visit Finland and explore joint investment opportunities between the two countries.

H.E. Eng. Al Mansouri said that the UAE and Finland have enjoyed distinctive bilateral relations, emphasizing the desire of the state to strengthen joint economic and trade ties specifically involving their respective countries’ priority sectors such as innovation and scientific research and investments in the areas of education, health, and renewable energy.

The Minister pointed out that trade between the two countries has yet to maximize existing potentials and capacities, revealing that the UAE’s non-oil trade with Finland was at around USD 348.6 million in 2015, while the total trade volume in the free zones stood at about USD 91.5 million during the same year. He added that the UAE is home to around four Finnish companies registered with the Ministry as well as 18 trade agencies and about 540 Finnish brands. H.E. further explained that innovation is a high priority in the countries’ next phase of partnership as well as information and communications, research, and technology sectors.

The Minister also welcomed the invitation from Finland for him to head an economic and trade delegation to observe the progress made by the country in the areas of innovation and small and medium enterprises and explore broader areas of cooperation to further promote trade between the two countries.

Ms. Swan confirmed the interest of her country in enhancing economic and trade cooperation with the UAE, pointing out that the UAE is a popular destination for Finnish travelers. She said that around 20,000 Finnish tourists and businessmen visit the country annually. Finland, on the other hand, is one of the most visited tourist destinations among Emiratis. Ambassadress Swan added that there is strong interest among Finnish businessmen and investors to expand in the UAE market and benefit from its promising opportunities for business growth.