UAE and Thailand launch 1st Emirati-Thai Business Council to enhance cooperation and increase the volume of trade and investment exchange
- Federation of UAE Chambers organizes UAE-Thai business forum at SCCI.
- Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi: UAE-Thai Business Forum reflects both countries’ commitment to expand economic and trade cooperation.
- Jurin Laksanawisit: The forum marks a step forward in enhancing economic ties between Thailand and the UAE.
Sharjah, February 7, 2023
The Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) has organized the UAE-Thai business forum to discuss ways to boost economic relations between the two countries.
Held today (Tuesday) at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the meeting was hosted in conjunction with a visit from a high-level Thai business delegation led by Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce.
The event witnessed the launch of the first joint business council between the UAE and Thailand, established under a memorandum of understanding signed between the UAE’s FCCI and Thailand’s Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking (JSCCIB).
The council comprises of business leaders and representatives from the private sector of both countries. It serves as their representative body, conveying their aspirations and goals. Its aim is to enhance joint cooperation and increase trade and investment exchange between the UAE and Thailand.
The meeting was attended by H.E. Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Vice Chairman of the UAE Chambers and Chairman of SCCI, and H.E. Humaid Mohamed Bin Salem, Secretary General of the FCCI. Also present were H.E. Waleed Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, Second Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, SCCI, and H.E. Mohammad Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, Director-General of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), as well as a number of members of the FCCI Board of Directors, directors of the chambers of commerce in the country, and representatives of the local and Thai business communities.
H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, affirmed that the launch of the first joint business council between the UAE and Thailand reflects both countries’ commitment to expand economic and trade cooperation and create opportunities for Emirati and Thai businesses to establish sustainable partnerships that support both nations’ development goals.
Al Zeyoudi noted that the UAE and Thailand share strong, continuously developing economic relations in vital sectors such as real estate, tourism, industry, hospitality, food security, agriculture, renewable energy, technology, logistics, and healthcare. These sectors have helped boost both countries’ trade and joint investment. In 2022, the UAE was Thailand’s largest trading partner in the Arab world and ranked 13th globally. Non-oil trade between the two countries reached $6.1 billion, a 21% increase from 2021.
The minister went on to say that the two nations have made significant progress in terms of investment flow as well. The UAE’s foreign direct investments in Thailand reached $300 million by the end of Q3 2022, accounting for 52% of all investments from the Middle East region. Thailand’s direct foreign investments in the UAE were valued at $84 million by the end of last year, showcasing the strength of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. This lays a solid foundation for future, more prosperous economic partnerships, according to Al Zeyoudi.
Al Zeyoudi stated that the UAE, under the directives of its visionary leadership, recently launched several strategic initiatives and policies to transform its economic model into one that is more flexible, sustainable, and competitive, while keeping pace with future trends and focusing on new economic sectors.
He highlighted the recent changes to the Commercial Companies Law, which now allows foreign investors to fully own their businesses, while also referring to the Global Economic Agreements Program. The UAE has already signed agreements with India, Israel, and Indonesia and launched an initiative to attract digital and technological companies.
The minister emphasized that the country is actively pursuing investment and talent attraction through integrated strategies, encouraging the Thai business community to take advantage of the opportunities and advantages being provided by the UAE’s business and investment environment.
For his part, Laksanawisit underscored that the forum marks a step forward in enhancing economic ties between Thailand and the UAE, and is an effective and practical way to establish joint investment projects. He stated that the UAE is a prominent economic center in the region, experiencing comprehensive growth across various economic sectors and offering advanced logistical services, favorable legislation, and state-of-the-art infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Waleed Bukhatir reaffirmed that the UAE private sector is a leading player in the Middle East and North Africa region, contributing greatly to strengthening bilateral relations with other countries. As of January 2023, there were approximately 525,000 members in the chamber of commerce. The private sector comprises 50 joint business councils with countries around the world, including the newly announced UAE-Thai Business Council, adding that over 5.26 million workers of various nationalities are employed in the UAE private sector.