L-R: Arif Amiri, CEO of the Dubai international Financial Centre (DIFC); Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg's Minister of Finance; Credit: © SIP / Jean-Christophe Verhaegen, all rights reserved

Yesterday, on the second day of Luxembourg's economic mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the two countries agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in the areas of the economy and finance.

Firstly, Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, and his UAE counterpart, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, signed a cooperation agreement establishing a regular and quasi-institutional economic dialogue, which also covers areas such as agriculture, industry, science, education and tourism. This enhanced economic cooperation follows on from the several existing agreements between Luxembourg and the UAE, particularly in the area of ​​finance. 

Composed of 90 representatives of Luxembourg companies, a business delegation then attended an economic seminar organised by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce with local partners at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The objective of this seminar was to seek synergies as well as new business opportunities between the two countries. The welcoming speech was delivered by His Royal Highness the Hereditary Grand Duke, who chaired the economic mission. In his speech, he commented: "I am delighted to see such a living and dynamic UAE community that piously respects and protects its heritage. In Luxembourg too, we aim to combine traditions and economic development, especially in high-tech sectors”.

In his opening speech, Étienne Schneider, said: “The UAE is by far Luxembourg's most important trading partner in the Gulf region. The Luxembourg presence at Expo 2020 will further boost our bilateral relations which have made it possible to build a bridge between our two countries considered as investment lands and hubs in their regions”.

The Hereditary Grand Duke and Minister Schneider then visited the Luxembourg pavilion at the Arab Health trade fair in Dubai. Six companies are representing Luxembourg on this occasion:  Ai Mediq, BioMind, Ceodeux, ExoAtlet, IMA-X et Scipharm. This is the second time Luxembourg is participating in this event; the Luxembourg pavilion is once again jointly organised and funded by the Ministry of the Economy and the Chamber of Commerce.

Day 2 of this economic mission was also marked by the promotion of the Luxembourg financial centre. On the sidelines of the Luxembourg-UAE Business Forum, Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna welcomed the good performance of Luxembourg funds in the region. He also met with Arif Amiri, CEO of the Dubai international Financial Centre (DIFC). Mr Amiri spoke about the development priorities of the DIFC for the coming years and particularly emphasised digitalisation and sustainable finance. In this context, Pierre Gramegna and Arif Almiri highlighted the ways to strengthen cooperation between the Luxembourg and Dubai financial centres, particularly in the areas of sustainable finance and Fintech.

Minister Gramegna also had a meeting with experts in Islamic finance. The discussions mainly focused on the growing convergence between Islamic finance and sustainable finance and how Luxembourg can bring its know-how to it thanks to the proven expertise of its financial centre in the field of green and sustainable finance.

At the end of the second day, Carlo Thelen, Director General of Luxembourg's Chamber of Commerce, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry in order to strengthen their collaboration.