BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

EU Ambassador talks peace, trade and friendship with the UAE

 Comments
Now Reading :

EU Ambassador talks peace, trade and friendship with the UAE

EU Ambassador talks peace, trade and friendship with the UAE
Text size Aa Aa

Europe Day marks the anniversary of a speech delivered in Paris by then-French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman in 1950. His proposal was for a new political and peaceful cooperation within Europe, and his declaration is considered a cornerstone of today’s European Union.

In the UAE, Europe Day is being marked by a photography exhibition in Dubai’s historic quarter along the Creek.

Emphasising the long-standing collaboration between the EU and the UAE are the works of Emirati and European photographers, who are capturing the modern history and the heritage of the emirates.

Member state ambassadors mingled with VIP guests at the grand opening of the exhibition, which encapsulated the EU’s theme for Europe Day this year – that of cultural heritage.

To discuss Europe’s historical trade ties and cultural exchange with the Emirates’, the EU’s Ambassador to the UAE, Patrizio Fondi, sat down with Inspire for an exclusive interview.

Rebecca Mc-Laughlin Duane, Euronews:

The Europe Day celebrations are open to the public. Tell me what they can expect in terms of the cultural dialogue?

Patrizio Fondi, EU’s Ambassador to the UAE:

You know we try throughout the celebration Europe day to underline the dialogue going on between European Union and the UAE. And the dialogue this time is between the photographers. We wanted to have Emirati and European photographer's and to see different perspectives.

Rebecca Mc-Laughlin Duane:

What are the points of commonality between the EU and the UAE in terms of culture and values?

Patrizio Fondi:

The first thing I can think of is tolerance, for example, which is really especially for different religion, different people, different habits… We share this value which is really to have all people respected in their, say, stand. Also, we share a lot the empowerment of women.

Then also we share a lot the care for humanitarian aid. You know, the European Union is the biggest donor in the world but the U.A.E. is the biggest donor per capita and of course also economic linkages, are very, very important.

Rebecca Mc-Laughlin Duane:

Well that brings me neatly to the topic of total trade between the EU and the UAE – what does the year ahead look like?

Patrizio Fondi:

We are very satisfied about the trend in the last ten years because we actually increased the trade with this country of 54 % which is really a huge amount. Let’s say that of this 52 billion euro, about 42 [billion] are export from European Union to the U.A.E. and about10 billion euros are on the import from the U.A.E.

We also should consider that in the next years there is one trend which is the diversification of economy in the U.A.E. They want to be less dependent on the oil and to be more diversified. So this means that they will develop a lot of the manufacturing sector and this is of course an opportunity not only for them but also for European businessmen, and this will lead in our opinion also to a more balanced trade stand.

Rebecca Mc-Laughlin Duane:

What other areas of cooperation and bilateral trade might appear on the horizon in the next year or so?

Patrizio Fondi:

At the moment the most important items for exports from European Union is industrial – actually - goods, for example, machinery, transportation goods, aircraft, of course, locomotives, these kinds of very advanced products. On the other side, we import as the European Union especially foil as you can imagine and lubricants and other related issues and some manufactured goods.

Rebecca Mc-Laughlin Duane:

We’re entering the holy month of Ramadan. What does this time of year mean to you personally?

Patrizio Fondi:

Ramadan for me was really a new experience when I started my life in Middle East. What I appreciate more of this time of the year is really the atmosphere. Sometimes you are surprised about how they can have the energy after a day of fasting to go maybe until two o'clock at night around so I was quite impressed, positively, because it's a very nice experience.