German minister looks for stronger UAE ties

Europe’s largest economy and the most important logistics hub, Germany, is the biggest strategic partner to the UAE, according to the German Federal Minister of Finance.

Peer Steinbrueck, who was accompanied by a high powered delegation comprising officials from the Ministry of Finance and the media, was speaking during a fact-finding visit to the UAE organised by the German Industry and Commerce.

“With German exports to the UAE valued at AED 33.6 billion in 2007, it is the fourth largest exporter to the emirates after China, India and Japan. Over 400 companies are engaged in trade with the UAE and 2007 German exports rose 8.5% as compared to the previous year,” Steinbrueck said.

“Dubai shares a lot with Germany in the aviation and aerospace, logistics and maritime industry and we see an opportunity of increased mutual cooperation between the two countries.”

Steinbrueck remarked that Dubai World Central (DWC) - the 140 square kilometer urban aviation project in Dubai - centred around Al Maktoum International Airport, scheduled to be the world’s largest, complements Germany’s vision of being a catalyst to power the regional economic boom in their respective continents.

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“As a Greenfield development of such magnitude the world has never seen before, Dubai World Central has captured the imagination of the corporate world and governmental finance and investment sectors. The project’s truly integrated multi-modal logistics platform in a single-bonded free zone environment is a concept that even Germany cannot rival.”

Dubai’s non-oil trade with Germany reached AED 16 billion in 2006 confirming projects like DWC are key to globalisation of the UAE’s economy.

Khalifa Al Zaffin, DWC’s Executive Chairman who hosted the delegation at the DWC offices stated that Germany - Europe’s largest logistics market worth AED 1,173 billion - can synergise its aviation and logistics activities with Dubai’s AED 300 billion aerospace ambitions of which Dubai World Central’s investment is AED 120 billion.”

DWC recently brought together the 25 km2 DLC and 8 km2 DWC Aviation City under one free zone administration bolstering benefits and economic advantages to potential tenants.

Due to be operational at the end of 2008, DLC, which is the first phase of the huge Dubai World Central project, will eventually combine all required transport modes with a logistics zone with ample space for warehousing and other logistics services, such as order fulfillment, merge-in-transit, postponement-in-assembly, kitting and packing.
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