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Finance Minister Hartwig Löger on economic mission in Abu Dhabi Meeting with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

The United Arab Emirates are Austria’s biggest trading and economic partner in the Gulf region. Worldwide, the UAE are among the top 30 importers of Austrian products. The most important goods exported by Austria are electrical machinery, boilers, iron and steel goods, aircraft components and timber products. The main goods imported by Austria from the United Arab Emirates are starter batteries and aluminium products.

Direct investment by Austria is rising by 3.8 per cent. The trade surplus of 500 per cent (238 million Euros) clearly shows – even though it has fallen by comparison with 2017 – how important it is to nurture and expand economic relations between the UAE and Austria, said Finance Minister Hartwig Löger on the occasion of his two-day official trip.

The attractiveness of the UAE market is reflected in the 150 branches of Austrian companies that have been set up in the country. At the reception held for the Austrian economic delegation in Abu Dhabi, the Austrian Finance Minister said that it was the duty of politicians to maintain good bilateral relations in order to make the economic environment more attractive for Austrian companies.

Finance Minister Hartwig Löger was given a royal welcome by the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates,  Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. During the audience, reference was made to the state visit by the Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in April, and the progress made in regard to the agreements reached during that visit was discussed. At the meeting, the Austrian Finance Minister stressed the importance of the bilateral relations between the two countries, and indicated the possibility of further cooperation.

Löger also had a working meeting with Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the CEO of the ADNOC Group. Via Staatsholding Mubadala, this holding company has a 24.9 per cent interest in OMV, making it the second biggest shareholder after the Republic of Austria, which has a 31.5 per cent share. There was also a joint discussion of future challenges and activities at a working meeting with Rainer Seele, CEO of OMV.

During his time in Abu Dhabi the Austrian Finance Minister also met with Finance Minister Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer and the Minister of Economy, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri. On the agenda for discussion was the further development of the existing double taxation agreement, which came into force in 2004, and which now needs to be adapted in light of further measures against tax avoidance.