Recent and upcoming visits of high-level delegations between the UAE and Ireland strongly illustrate the historic links between the two countries, as well as the increasing volume of two-way trade and the willingness to strengthen relations further, according to His Excellency Patrick Hennessy, Irish Ambassador to the UAE.
Reflecting the continued interest in trade, Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, His Excellency Phil Hogan T.D., is also scheduled to visit the UAE in March, while the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be leading a delegation to Ireland later this year. These and other ongoing visits are expected to further strengthen trade relations between the two countries, the ambassador said.
His Excellency Patrick Hennessy was speaking at a seminar titled ‘Ireland and UAE: A Growing Partnership’ held at the Masdar Institute campus. The event, organized under the Masdar Institute Lecture Series program, was attended by Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, Dr Mohamed Sassi, Interim Dean, Masdar Institute and other officials, faculty members and students. After the seminar, a memento was presented to His Excellency Hennessy by Dr Moavenzadeh and Dr Sassi. The Irish Ambassador was also given a tour of Masdar City and Masdar Institute campus, where he was briefed about its various sustainable features.
Commending Masdar Institute, His Excellency Hennessy said: “The community you have created here at the Masdar Institute campus in Masdar City is a remarkable testament to the importance of the energy and sustainability agenda - and to the commitment of those who conceived the idea and who are now implementing it. You are not only distinguished in terms of academic excellence but in terms of the role you are playing here at Masdar Institute to place the UAE in the forefront of knowledge and science - at both the national - and international level -.”
Illustrating his country’s role in attracting some of the best global brands, His Excellency Hennessy pointed out that eight of the top 10 global companies in the information and communications technology sector, nine of the top 10 companies in the pharmaceutical sector and 10 of the top online trading companies are based out of Ireland. These companies have chosen Ireland because of the country’s conducive business environment and the availability of skilled manpower.
Bilateral trade between Ireland and the UAE reached AED5 billion in 2012. Predicting that the trade volume will increase further, His Excellency Hennessy noted the similarities of the two countries in developing skills through education, attracting overseas investments and hosting global brands by creating the right enabling environment.
During a recent visit to the UAE by Irish Prime Minister His Excellency Enda Kenny, he announced plans for Ireland to establish a permanent business-promotion office in Abu Dhabi to further facilitate two-way trade. The Irish Prime Minister led a delegation of 87 Irish companies to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar that resulted in 21 business deals worth approximately AED325 million.