ABU DHABI, UAE – Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė is on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where she met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. Strengthening of relations between Lithuania and the UAE in the areas of trade, energy and innovations was in the focus of the meeting. The leaders also discussed international security situation, the importance of fight against terrorism and extremism and cooperation between the UAE and the EU and NATO.
The meeting between the President and the future leader of the United Arab Emirates open up a new phase of relations between Lithuania and the UAE. Discussing economics, trade and politics at the highest level presents a unique opportunity for Lithuanian business people, high technologies experts and farmers to establish themselves better in the progressive and rapidly growing market of the UAE that is a gate to the entire Persian Gulf market.
During the four decades, abundant natural resources and well-thought investments into technologies has turned the UAE into one of the richest countries of the world; however, the UAE’s ambition is to become an unrivalled global leader in innovations. According to the President, Lithuania has things to offer to the UAE – lasers, renewable energy and life sciences technologies have already become a global trademark of quality and progress.
Lithuanian scientists and their knowledge may be of specific interest to the United Arab Emirates in the development of the Laser Technology Center in the newly established Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi. Lithuanian-made scientific lasers are exported to over 100 countries and have a 10 percent share of the global market. Renewable energy is yet another niche for cooperation. While the UAE produces almost all electricity from gas, Lithuania is among the most progressive countries in the renewables technologies – Lithuanian-made solar panels rate the third most efficient panels in Europe.
Tomorrow, during the President’s visit, it is planned to sign an agreement on economic and technical cooperation as well as two memorandums of understanding on energy and on the promotion of business cooperation between Lithuania and the UAE. In Dubai, a high level Lithuanian and UAE business forum will be held for the first time.
A huge and untapped economic cooperation potential lies in traditional areas of economics, such as agriculture. The UAE imports as much as 90 percent of foodstuff. The sales of Lithuanian cereal, fish and dairy products enjoy success there; however, meat and eggs could not have been imported up until now. During the President’s visit, this issue was resolved and export certificates for meat and eggs were finalized. This will provide new opportunities and open up global trade routes for our food industry as many Lithuanian companies are looking forward to these permits. Lithuania will aim to export live cattle to the UAE as well.
This year, Lithuania and the UAE mark the 25th anniversary of the re-established diplomatic relations. The UAE is one of the closest partners of Lithuania in the Middle East as we have a common approach on fight against terrorism and extremism. The UAE is engaged in close cooperation with the US and NATO. Both Lithuania and the UAE trained Afghanistan’s security forces and the two countries jointly participate in the US-led mission “Inherent Resolve” in Iraq and Syria.
Lithuania and the UAE share examples of successful cooperation at the international organizations: the UAE supported Lithuania’s candidate to the UN Security Council; the two countries supported each other in the elections to the Executive Board of UNESCO; Lithuania supported the initiative of the UAE to hold the exposition “EXPO 2020” in Dubai. During Lithuania’s presidency of the Council of the European Union, the UAE was granted visa-free regime for in Schengen zone countries. Lithuania supports the resumption of negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Office of the President of Lithuania