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UAE and Iran to meet in Abu Dhabi after 10 years

Mehrdad Bazrpash, the Iranian minister of roads and urban development, will be in Abu Dhabi for the meeting this week IRNA
Mehrdad Bazrpash, the Iranian minister of roads and urban development, will be in Abu Dhabi for the meeting this week
  • First meeting of two countries in a decade
  • Trade, investment and transport links
  • Cooperation documents to be signed

The UAE-Iran Joint Economic Cooperation Commission will convene in Abu Dhabi this week, marking its first meeting in a decade and the continued improvement of diplomatic relations between the countries.

The commission will host Mehrdad Bazrpash, Iranian minister of roads and urban development, alongside Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, the Emirati minister of economy, this week, reported the semi-official Tasnim news agency. 

The two countries are planning to develop links in economy, trade, investment and transportation according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Discussions will highlight international transit corridors, particularly the International North-South Transport Corridor, facilitating Emirati trade links to Central Asia, the Caucasus, Russia and Europe via Iranian territory.

Two cooperation documents are also expected to be signed to facilitate expanding economic activities.

The move comes as diplomatic relations between the two countries improve. In 2019 the UAE restored formal relations with Tehran, having limited its diplomatic relations in solidarity with Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh cut ties in 2016 when protestors stormed the Saudi embassy in Iran in protest against the kingdom’s execution of a prominent Shi’ite cleric.

In a move signalling broader collaboration, Iran has also pledged technology transfers to the UAE, according to the official news agency IRNA.

Amir Hossein Mirabadi, head of Iranian international science and technology interactions cooperation, and Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi, undersecretary at UAE ministry of industry and advanced technology, met on Monday to discuss the latest developments of Iranian knowledge-based companies.

During Al Suwaidi’s visit to the House of Innovation and Technology, Mirabadi emphasised the numerous areas where Iran and the UAE can collaborate, such as agriculture and artificial intelligence. 

The UAE has a long history of business and trade with Iran, with Dubai serving as one of Iran’s primary links to the outside world. 

The UAE is Iran’s second-largest trade partner after China.

Iran exported commodities valued at $4.7 billion to the UAE during March-December 2023, Mohammad Rezvani-Far, head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration said

The trade between the two countries recovered from a pandemic slump of $11 billion in 2020-21 to $24 billion in 2022-23, according to Iranian data.

Iranian officials are now targeting a further increase in bilateral trade to reach  $30 billion by next year.

Last year, the UAE signed an air transport services agreement which aims to better organise air transportation and strengthen air connections.

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