Wed, 08/29/2018 - 13:01
UAE keen to strengthen global relations, synergies with Asian economies, says Minister of Climate Change and Environment
HANOI, 29th August 2018 (WAM) - Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, headed the UAE delegation to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, to participate in the 3rd Indian Ocean Conference, held under the theme ‘Strengthening Regional Relations’. The two-day conference that concluded today, drew the participation of representatives of 43 participating countries and 28 ministers and served as a global platform for countries to exchange their experiences and discuss the economic and strategic importance of the Indian Ocean region. This year's conference focused on strengthening strategic international cooperation and developing governance mechanisms. In his keynote speech, Dr Al Zeyoudi said: "Being at the center of the world, the Indian Ocean is set to become one of the world’s most strategic bodies of water, driving global economic growth and prosperity. The rising energy demand in the Indian Ocean region has resulted in increased energy supplies from the Gulf region to Asia through Indian Ocean shipping routes. "More broadly, exports from Asian economies are expected to rise from 17% in 2010 to 28% in 2030, further indicating the economic vitality of the region. Hence, the importance of collaboration and cooperation among countries in the Indian Ocean is clear to us in the UAE." Dr Al Zeyoudi said that the UAE has developed as a free trade hub for Asia, Africa and Europe, and provides a gateway to the Middle East. He noted that the Indian Ocean covers a vital role in the UAE’s economic diversification and transformation plan and stressed that it is crucial that the Indian Ocean remains a truly global ocean of free trade, navigation and cooperation. The UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment highlighted some of the important work that the UAE has been conducting to enhance regional stability and cooperation. He said: "The UAE is committed to addressing climate change and environmental sustainability and is leading the way by setting ambitious national plans to mitigate and adapt to climate change in cooperation with key stakeholders and partners, including business. "We were early adopters of renewable energy and the country is home to the International Renewable Energy Agency [IRENA], which promotes renewable energy globally. The UAE is also a member of the International Solar Alliance and has ambitious clean energy targets of 27% by 2021 and 50% by 2050, of which 44% is set to originate from renewables. The hosting of Expo 2020 in Dubai is a prime example of how the UAE is working to enhance cooperation among countries and create platforms for knowledge exchange." As a coastal country, Dr Al Zeyoudi stressed that the UAE is well aware of the importance of marine resources for economic development and the ecosystem services they offer, and strongly believes in the concept of a blue economy. His Excellency noted that the country is working with its partners to ensure sustainable management of fish and marine species through mitigating marine pollution and establishing protected areas. He said that the UAE will assume the two-year chairmanship of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in October 2019 with the commitment to further boosting international cooperation in the Indian Ocean region with regard to governance, security and economic architecture. Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi headed the UAE delegation through several meetings with ministers and senior officials from countries participating in the conference to discuss common key political, economic, social and cultural issues among the Indian Ocean countries.