Sultan Al Jaber said that 'failure is not an option' at COP28

UAE and France have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Monday to establish, the "UAE-France Bilateral Climate Investment Platform" to work on joint projects in the clean energies sectors, especially on advancing the decarbonization of Hard-to-Abate (HTA) Industries.

The MoU was signed during the second plenary meeting of the UAE-France High-Level Business Council in Paris between UAE's Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber and French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty Bruno Le Maire.

The second plenary meeting was co-chaired by Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies Patrick Pouyanné.

Al Jaber, who is also the Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company), said the meet helps to strengthen "existing vibrant economic ties between the two countries and the importance of mobilizing the private sectors on both sides to deliver sustainable economic development collaboration opportunities," WAM reported.

The Platform, which aims to attract additional investment partners over time, includes French and Emirati Anchor Partners, ADNOC and Masdar. The platform also comprised of TotalEnergies, Bpifrance, and CMA-CGM.

Le Maire, on the other hand, emphasized the importance of business dialogue between key French and UAE players.

"The ambition we share is to develop very concrete joint projects, contributing to our countries' strategic goals in terms of innovation, industrial development, and ecological transition," he said, adding that he is "delighted to see that climate transition is becoming a central focus of economic cooperation" between the two nations.

Meanwhile, TotalEnergies Renewables and Masdar signed an MoU for partnership in the development of Renewable Energy Projects in emerging markets such as Central Asia and Africa.

Pouyanné welcomed the UAE delegation in Paris and praised the council's first achievements, recalling that the first meeting took place in Abu Dhabi. He praised UAE officials for making a strong commitment to the private sector in key domains, starting from energy to transport and beyond.

TotalEnergies CEO added, "I look forward to witnessing further strengthening of these collaborations, as I am convinced that the Council is a fruitful platform for the development of mutually beneficial sustainable investments."

The partnerships highlighted during the meeting include the deal between TotalEnergies and Masdar to produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) from methanol and develop the SAF market.

Moreover, Abu Dhabi Sustainable Water Solutions, SUEZ Group, and Marubeni will focus on implementing key infrastructure projects worth $1.5 billion in the water supply alongside the water treatment sector in Uzbekistan.

During the meeting, Al Jaber also pledged to contribute $25 million to the Global Flaring and Methane Reduction (GFMR) trust fund.

The non-oil trade between the UAE and France saw a 12.5% year-over-year (YOY) increase during the first nine months of 2023, reaching AED 25.1 billion (€6.3 billion). In 2022, non-oil bilateral trade surpassed pre-pandemic levels and grew 20.5% YOY to approximately AED 30.4 billion.

Moreover, the UAE boasts the highest concentration of French companies in the Middle East, with over 600 firms employing more than 30,000 individuals. Conversely, within the Gulf Cooperation Council, the UAE stands as France's second-largest investor.