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UAE-Estonia trade grows around tech collaboration

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi meets with Tiit Riisalo, Estonia’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology Wam
The UAE's minister of state for foreign trade, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, meets Tiit Riisalo, Estonia’s minister of economic affairs and IT
  • Bilateral trade increased 76% in 2023
  • AI and health tech top priority list
  • Estonian fintech opens Abu Dhabi HQ

The digital economy is expected to be at the forefront of trade between the UAE and Estonia as the former Soviet state positions itself to become a European centre for deep tech projects.

Officials from both countries met on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, with artificial intelligence and health tech highlighted as areas for greater collaboration.

Last year, bilateral trade increased by 76 percent, reaching a total value of $176 million, up from $100 million in 2022.

Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE minister of state for fForeign trade, held talks with Tiit Riisalo, Estonia’s minister of economic affairs and information technology. Estonia plans to double its number of deep tech projects by 2025, and increase it five-fold by 2030. 

In 2022, deep tech companies attracted $191 million across 15 deals in the country, equal to 13 percent of all venture capital investments.

“Estonia is an EU country with significant potential for the UAE. We see many mutually beneficial opportunities to expand… and establish wider collaboration in areas such as AI, digital healthcare and food security,” said Al Zeyoudi. 

Riisalo said that digital innovation, e-commerce and clean technology presented “promising avenues for collaboration” with the UAE.

The talks come after an announcement that the Tallinn-based fintech company Tuum had picked Abu Dhabi to open a regional headquarters to lead its expansion ambitions in the wider Middle East.

UAE-Estonia trade highlights

  • UAE tech and defence giant Edge Group bought a majority stake last year in Estonia’s Milrem Robotics, which develops intelligent unmanned ground vehicles and robotic warfare solutions.
  • In February, the two countries’ climate change ministries signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen efforts in managing food resources using the latest technology.
  • Abu Dhabi agribusiness Al Dahra Group signed a supply agreement with Estonian animal feed company Golden Fields last year, with plans to build forage processing facilities across the Baltic. 

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