(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Sebastian Kurz, Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, today attended the signing of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the UAE and Austria.
The joint declaration made by the two countries reaffirms their commitment to expanding their relations and launching a new stage of cooperation to achieve their shared goals and drive growth in their countries.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Alexander Schallenberg, Austria's Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the presence of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports; Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi, Ibrahim Salem Al Musharakh, UAE Ambassador to Austria, Mag. Gernot Blumel, Austria's Minister of Finance, and Dr. Margarete Schramböck, Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs.
Below is the full text of the joint declaration:
Areas of Focused Cooperation
>> Both countries share the view that enhancing bilateral collaboration in the areas listed below will bring mutual benefits to the two countries' common interests and have identified them as priority areas for focused cooperation.
Political, Diplomatic, and International Cooperation
>> They envisage strengthening their political dialogue and diplomatic consultations by increasing the frequency of high-level visits and diplomatic exchanges and establishing shared bilateral priorities and agendas.
>> Both sides reaffirm their commitment to a rules-based international order with the UN at its core. They will explore opportunities for cooperation in multilateral institutions, including the UN, promote and strengthen effective multilateralism, including promoting tolerance and human rights.
>> Both countries envisage working together in facilitating efforts to promote tolerance, combat international crime, extremism and terrorism, and jointly work on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
>> They also envisage exploring cooperation in their humanitarian aid and relief efforts. They will look into opportunities for exchange of views in international development in areas of common interest in developing countries and regions.
Economy, Energy, Trade, Direct Investment and Sectoral Partnerships
>> Both countries envisage establishing a closer economic relationship and work to remove regulatory obstacles and develop a more enabling environment for businesses to encourage a significant boost to the flow of trade and investment over the next five years.
Expo 2020 Dubai
>> Both countries agreed to leverage Expo 2020 Dubai that will take place from October 1, 2021- March 31, 2022, in Dubai, under the theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" for creating and strengthening long-lasting bilateral business-to-business partnerships.
>> Both sides stand out as regional hubs and starting points for introducing products on highly affluent markets, where rapid expansion is possible. To keep increasing investments that create broad-based growth, both sides wish to shape the underlying conditions to make their business locations even more attractive. They also affirm their commitment to facilitating increased business exchanges among small, medium and large enterprises of the two countries by setting a framework for a High-Level Joint Business-to-
Business Industrial and Investment Partnership
>> They envisage cooperating in Vocational Education and Training (VET), focusing on company-based training to support future needs of skilled workers for the economy. The involvement of Austrian companies with branches in the UAE could support this in a fruitful way.
>> Both countries will pursue opportunities of collaboration to facilitate the exchange of best economic practices and knowledge, provide support for capacity building and development of an innovation-based sustainable economy, further broaden trade mutual support and collaboration in the sector of infrastructure projects.
>> Leveraging on the existing visa waiver agreement, the UAE and Austria will increase their cooperation in the tourism sector and coordinate their sectoral policies by encouraging relevant institutions to share research, data, and market insights.
>> Both nations highlight the importance of information and communication technologies and the digitalisation of the public as well as the private sector and envisage to cooperate and to exchange best practice examples in this area. They will also work together to advance their industrial partnerships, focusing on 4IR technologies.
>> They intend to increase collaboration in petrochemicals and the oil and gas industry across the whole value chain. They also envisage to strengthen their cooperation in the field of renewable energy, including solar and wind, and, in particular, to explore possibilities for collaboration in areas of hydrogen-based energy, and other innovative energy technologies, in energy efficiency and conservation, as well as sharing technical knowledge, skills and expertise.
>> Both sides intend to set up a bilateral Hydrogen Alliance consisting in particular of the members of the Abu Dhabi Hydrogen Alliance and the private sector key players of Austria, setting up a framework of collaboration concerning finance, research and development of new technologies, Export and trade.
Education and Culture
>> Both countries will enhance cooperation in arts, culture and heritage and increase ties between their education, academic and research organisations, increase cooperation on sports and youth engagements, and promote joint investments in the entertainment and creative industries in Austria and the UAE.
>> They also envisage promoting increased people-to-people exchanges, especially youth exchange, with the purpose of fostering mutual understanding between both societies, engaging in cross-cultural dialogue, and strengthening cooperation in joint cultural programs between the two countries.
>> Both sides envisage collaborating on strategies for disabled people that aim to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all members of their societies.
Health and medical cooperation
>> Both countries stressed their commitment to strengthening international cooperation to counter the pandemic through sharing best practices, in addition to scientific cooperation and to providing emergency medical supplies to countries in need.
>> They envisage enhancing cooperation in the field of health and medical cooperation, to increase ties between their relevant authorities, hospitals, medical universities and colleges, and to increase cooperation on health courses and programs, and promote joint Medical R&D in both Austria and the UAE. They also envisage promoting medical investments in both countries, especially the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
Implementation of the Strategic Comprehensive Partnership
>> This joint declaration marks the start of a new and dynamic phase in the bilateral relationship between the UAE and the Republic of Austria.
In this regard, the leaders intend to appoint ministers from both sides to overlook the implementation of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, in particular the work of an Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee, which will ensure the coordination and cooperation between all relevant stakeholders and institutions under each area of focus and to jointly prepare an annual progress report covering all Areas of Focused Cooperation.