Wed, 12 Aug 2020

ABU DHABI, UAE - The United Arab Emirates and Jersey governments are in talks about investing further in each other's economies.

Officials of both countries came together on Tuesday in a webinar.

The Jersey delegation was headed by Senator Ian Gorst, Minister for External Relations, while the UAE delegation was chaired by Mansour Abdullah Belhoul, the UAE Ambassador to the UK.

Belhoul outlined the precautionary measures taken by the UAE since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and its actions to boost the economy, as well as the new structure of the UAE government and the country's interest in the digital economy and technological inventions.

He also spoke about the UAE's Mars probe, Hope, which will launch this week, which Belhoul said was a unique example of the vision of the UAE's leadership to build the capacities of young people, including their scientific skills.

Gorst addressed the economic challenges faced by all countries caused by the coronavirus pandemic, noting that his government was boosting the local economy, and establishing partnerships with the UAE.

The strengthening of the relationship comes as one of the UAE's largest commercial banks is closing its operations in Jersey, after being established there a number of years.

"After careful deliberation and a comprehensive assessment, ADCB (Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank) has taken a strategic decision to discontinue the Offshore Banking offering and to close the Jersey branch on 30th September 2020, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals," the bank told clients in a note earlier this month.

Participants in this week's webinar included Arif Amiri, CEO of the Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC, Richard Teng, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, and Marwan Zarouni, CEO of the Dubai Blockchain Centre, who explained the role of this key sector and the initiatives and strategies that aim to find future opportunities for digital transformation based on Blockchain technology.

Saleh Lootah, Chairman of the Food Industries Working Group, spoke about the UAE's food industries sector and the incentives provided to investors in this area.

The UAE Embassy in the UK and the Ministry of Economy, have joined with the Government of Jersey, to create a communication portal for companies from both sides to support and facilitate their entry to the Emirati market. Some 12 companies from Jersey expressed their desire to hold bilateral meetings with institutions in the UAE.

The UAE and Jersey have strong financial ties, with the headquarters of Jersey Finance in the Middle East located at the Dubai International Finance Centre, while 26 financial services companies from Jersey also operate in the UAE. More than 40 companies from Jersey conduct business in the UAE and perform regular visits to the country.

(With input from WAM).

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