Two People Shaking Hands. Representational Image.
Two People Shaking Hands. Representational Image. Ketut Subiyanto/

Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE's Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, discussed strategic partnership developments with top Austrian officials, including Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Schallenberg and Minister of Finance Magnus Brunner.

During the meeting, Al Jaber highlighted the UAE's commitment to enhancing cooperation between both countries and praised their 50 years of friendship. He also recalled the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership both countries announced in 2021.

"We appreciate the efforts made under the strategic partnership with Austria, which will undoubtedly contribute to bolstering bilateral cooperation, achieving sustainable economic growth in the two countries, and enhancing joint work on issues of common interest," he was quoted as saying by WAM.

"Since the launch of the comprehensive strategic partnership, UAE-Austria ties have witnessed great progress, and this partnership has contributed to strengthening cooperation within its key pillars and creating new opportunities for joint work between all concerned parties in the government and private sectors of the two countries," he added.

The Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, on the other hand, highlighted the importance of strategic partnership with the UAE in various fields, starting from energy diversification to security and stability in the region.

Schallenberg stressed that the Middle Eastern country is the most important trading partner in the Gulf region for Austria, noting that the strategic partnership allows both countries to expand their "bilateral relations, spanning not just trade, but also the political and cultural realm."

"As for future prospects, we endeavor to cooperate even closer in fields such as sustainability, intercultural and interreligious dialogue as well as artificial intelligence," he added.

Aside from hosting the First Ministerial Meeting of the Strategic Partnership, the Austrian Chancellor hosted a private meeting with the UAE delegation to celebrate the golden jubilee of this bilateral relations, stressing the need to uncover new cooperations.

The Austrian Finance Minister also spoke during the meeting. "I am pleased that amidst the diplomatic visit, there is also time and space to highlight the economic partnership. Economic cooperation is not only beneficial for the positive development of companies but also a success story for taxpayers," he said.

The UAE became Austria's main investment partner in the Middle East and North Africa and ranked sixth globally, ranking sixth around the globe in 2023. Emirati investments are around $8.2 billion, which is 4% of all foreign investments in Austria.

Whereas, Austria is the tenth among the UAE's trading partners in the EU, and the Middle Eastern country tops as a trading partner in the GCC countries. Non-oil trade between the UAE and Austria grew by 18% in the first nine months of 2023, reaching around $1 billion.