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Free Trade Agreement between EU and GCC to be expedited

posted on 30/10/2006: 2737 views

Dubai Press Club (DPC) hosted Her Excellency Emma Bonino, Italian Minister of International Trade and European Affairs on Saturday, on 28 October at DPC premises in Dubai Media City.

The diplomat's visit to the UAE marked the beginning of a four day tour to Gulf States including Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait with an aim to strengthen bilateral economic and industrial relations with strategically located countries that play a crucial role in Italy's trade exchange.

Following her visit, the UAE and Italy have agreed on several initiatives including the organization of a Businesswomen Forum in Italy in early 2007. Both countries have agreed upon active cooperation through a permanent bilateral inter-governmental commission to initiate networking between the public and private sector in both countries.

High ranking officials of the UAE and Italy also shared the objective of enforcing bilateral investments, and achieving a more consistent participation of Italian companies in major UAE projects in the field of infrastructure, real estate and tourism. Both parties also agreed to expedite and finalize discussions on the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and GCC.

Stating that stability, wealth and key geopolitical location of the UAE makes it a strategic trade partner, Minister Bonino said the country indicates an increasing demand for Italian know-how and products.

She said: "As both Italy and the UAE play the role of regional hubs, it is time to achieve an economic partnership between the two countries that are key players in the Mediterranean and the Gulf. In spite of a positive trend in exports - Italian exports to the UAE have grown by 35.7 per cent in the first half of 2006 with respect to the same period in 2005, there is still a great potential to be capitalized in the bilateral economic cooperation, in line with our excellent political relations.”

Minister Bonino, accompanied by the Italian Ambassador to the UAE, H.E. Paolo Dionisi, attended the inauguration of the Big Five exhibition in Dubai, which featured Italy as the leading exhibitor country with 380 participating companies. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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