Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al Falih said Saudi Arabia and the UAE have agreed to look for joint strategic partnerships at a joint retreat held here on Thursday.
“This blessed journey will achieve its goals,” he said in a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, during the second Joint UAE-Saudi Al Azm Retreat, named after the Arabic word for determination.
More than 200 government officials and experts from various government and private organizations from both countries joined the brainstorming session to discuss ways of driving growth in the industrial and energy sectors.
Al Falih praised the UAE for achieving success in the energy sector, especially the renewables projects, noting that through this significant progress, the UAE has set a global model in the sector.
The sessions aim to benefit from this “added value” as well as from existing cooperation between the two countries in the manufacturing and petrochemical industries, he said, while citing other sectors such as auto, pharmaceutical, aluminum and aviation industries as potential areas for further cooperation.
Through integration, consultation and searching for common opportunities, the two countries can maximize value in these sectors, Al Falih said.
The second joint brainstorming session comes in line with the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahayan to bolster the historical ties between the two countries and draw up a long-term road map, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The brainstorming session also aims to intensify bilateral cooperation through continuous consultations and coordination in various fields and boost the role of joint Gulf action.
The Al-Azm retreat comes as a step amid a series of joint meetings between the Kingdom and the UAE within the Saudi-UAE Coordination Council co-chaired by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, second deputy premier, defense minister and chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, from the Saudi side and Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahayan from the UAE side.
The cooperation and coordination between the two sides ultimately hopes to achieve integration between the two countries in various fields.
The brainstorming session focused on three strategic areas; economy, knowledge and the human aspect; and the political, military and security aspects.
The over 200 officials from the two countries formed 11 working teams, apart from representatives of the private sector. The session came following an earlier session held in Abu Dhabi in February 2016 in which nine teams took part.
Other subjects that the session tackled included infrastructure, housing, foreign partnerships, production and industry, agriculture and water, services and financial markets, logistics sector, oil, gas, and petrochemicals. This was in the economic aspects.
As to knowledge and human aspects, they discussed technical education. In the political and military fields, they discussed cooperation and integration.
This report was first publised in Saudi Gazette on April 14, 2017.
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