United Arab Emirates - Visit by Mr Franck Riester (24-25 November 2020)

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Mr Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, visited the United Arab Emirates on 24 and 25 November.

This trip was an opportunity for the Minister Delegate to take stock of the density and vitality of the partnership that links us. He also welcomed the support shown for France during calls to boycott French products.

In Abu Dhabi, Mr Franck Riester was received by Mr Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market (AGDM). He met with several French businesses and had discussions with the directors of sovereign Emirati wealth funds. The Minister Delegate highlighted the attractiveness of France and noted that we share the same objectives in terms of growing our businesses through innovation, fintech and the greening of the economy.

In Dubai, the Minister Delegate visited the site of the future French Pavilion for Expo 2020. He commended French ambition and expertise, showcased by the “Light, Enlightenment” pavilion, which will reflect the attractiveness, innovation and sustainability that the post-COVID world will need to embrace.

He spoke with Mr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister for Foreign Trade, Mr Ahmad Belhou Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Mr Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Emirates Group and Chairman of Expo 2020 Dubai, and Mr Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Board of Executive Directors. Mr Franck Riester stressed his commitment to supporting our partnership in promising areas for the future, such as renewable energy, transport and sustainable cities, artificial intelligence and the benefits of start-ups for the United Arab Emirates, ahead of the GITEX innovation and technologies trade fair, which will take place in Dubai from 6 to 10 December 2020. He took this opportunity to talk to the French business community about their key challenges.

The United Arab Emirates is France’s third-largest customer and second-largest supplier in the countries of the Gulf region. The UAE hosts the largest number of French subsidiaries in the Middle East, with around 600 subsidiaries employing more than 30,000 people, among which more than 200 international corporate volunteers (VIE), which is the largest number in the North Africa/Middle East area. This attests to the strong and varied economic presence of France in the United Arab Emirates.