Hollande: France eager to deepen cooperation with UAE in defence industries

Hollande: France eager to deepen cooperation with UAE in defence industries

France's relations with the UAE are set to witness a major boost, with planned cooperation in energy and joint investments, French President Francois Holland said yesterday.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday ahead of his departure to France following a visit to the UAE, President Hollande said his talks with President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and other UAE officials touched on cooperation in renewable and future energy and preparations for the World Energy Conference, to be hosted by France in 2015.

President Hollande said the two countries agreed to create a joint fund to finance major projects in the two countries.

He underlined the desire to further strengthen cooperation in defence industries and revealed that the two countries are discussing a deal for French jet fighters.

"Relations between France and the UAE can go beyond that into an exceptional partnership in different fields. Currently, the UAE is the fourth largest country in terms of trade surplus with France," he added. Asked about his country's position on Iran, he said: "our concerns in Iran are related with their nuclear issue. We do not want to mix this with other issues." He added that Iran's support to the Syrian regime "has no future." He said that his country's involvement in Mali is aimed at achieving three goals; to stop terrorists’ aggression, to secure the capital Bamako and maintain unity of Mali.

He indicated that UAE's current support to the French operations in Mali includes the use of the French base and the aircraft there to move to Mali when needed.

"The UAE could provide humanitarian, financial or military support but it is for them to decide," he added. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


UAE and France to raise trade exchange by 50% in next five years

The UAE and France expressed yesterday their commitment to raise trade exchange by 50% in the coming five years, double tourist flow between the two countries and launch joint development projects in other countries.

A presidential statement issued here yesterday at the end of the visit of French President Francois Hollande to the UAE said President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan received on 15 January 2013 French President Francois Hollande, on his first trip to the UAE. The French head of state conducted talks with Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The two leaders highlighted the depth and strength of relations between the two countries since the born of the UAE. As two strategic partners, the UAE and France share views on a broad range of major regional and international political issues. The two countries were motivated by a joint vision to follow up progress in the distinguished bonds in light of current mega projects like the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (PSUAD) and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Welcoming the convening of the first UAE-France strategic dialogue hosted by Abu Dhabi on 7 November 2012, the two presidents expressed their determination to advance regional cooperation in areas of climate change, international financial regulations, food security and combating money laundering. The two countries were also looking forward to further develop bilateral relations in areas of culture and education and people-to-people contact.

As for the economic partnership, the two presidents will seek to expand economic and trade exchange, particularly in oil, renewable energy, nuclear energy, advanced technologies, land and air transport and services.

The two leaders also agreed to intensify joint cooperation and coordination to increase UAE investment in France and support presence of French companies in the UAE. In this respect, Sheikh Khalifa and President Hollande expressed their desire to create proper mechanisms necessary to maximise feasible investment to both sides especially in innovation-driven sectors like health, medical and infrastructure projects.

The two leaders also decided to set targets for expanding bilateral relations to raise trade exchange by 50% in the next five years, maximise the number of tourists between the two countries and engage together in development projects in other countries. The UAE-France strategic dialogue will be tasked with following up and supervising implementation of these objectives.

The two presidents stressed the vital importance of bolstering relations between the UAE and France in defence, building on their longstanding military partnership and maintaining the strong cooperation in defence equipment and supplies. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


President of Argentina invites UAE businesspersons to invest in Argentine

President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez has called for more UAE investments in Argentina, especially in the areas of industry, future energy, minerals and agricultural sector.

She said the agreements signed between the UAE and Argentina yesterday will help attract investments to both countries in the fields of renewable energy, tourism and others.

Speaking to a number of businesspersons and economists at Emirates Palace, the President of Argentina reiterated the agreements will boost the trade exchange and investment between the two countries.

Fernandez is visiting the country to take part in the sessions of first edition of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week hosted by Masdar from Jan. 13- 17.  - Emirates News Agency, WAM


UAE is committed to accelerate clean energy and adopt sustainable development: Mohammed bin Zayed

In the Presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, yesterday inaugurated the first Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) during the opening ceremony of the sixth World Future Energy Summit, the fifth International Renewable Energy Conference and the first International Water Summit. ADSW is among the largest sustainability gatherings in the world, and the largest in the Middle East.

Attracting over 30,000 participants from 150 countries, including world leaders, policy makers, thought leaders, decision-makers, experts, scientists, business leaders and academics, the significant platform for international dialogue and cooperation will tackle the world's pressing issues in energy, water and environment, accelerate the global adoption of renewable energy, address water challenges in arid regions, elevate the water - energy nexus topics on the global agenda, and encourage the dialogue between broad industry stakeholders to strengthen strategic partnerships as well as stimulate investment in water, energy and environment projects and empower the young generations and entrepreneurs.

Organised under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, ASDW and its participating events will run until January 17 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

In his opening remarks, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said: "Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is an important platform, as the world must work together to address energy and water access, food security and tackle the consequences of climate change. The United Arab Emirates is committed to face this challenge and is pushing forward to accelerate clean energy and adopt sustainable development.

"Since its inception, the UAE has been dedicated to sustainable practices and to reducing its environmental footprint," said His Highness. "Backed by the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, we continue to cherish the legacy of promoting sustainability left behind by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE.

"Delivering the world with important supplies of hydrocarbons for almost half a century, it's natural for the UAE to invest and play an active role in diversifying the energy mix to include renewable sources of energy," he continued. "Through initiatives like Masdar and hosting global platforms, the UAE is encouraging the collaboration, strategic partnerships and practical solutions necessary to seriously address the energy and climate challenge.

ADSW builds on the success of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the world's foremost annual event dedicated to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies. WFES has been hosted by Masdar since 2008.

This year's opening ceremony included keynote speeches from Francois Hollande, the President of France, and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the President of Argentina.

Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan also took the stage and urged for more collaboration between Arab nations. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


UAE leads chorus for more clean energy investments

The United Arab Emirates, despite being a leading fossil fuel producer, is committed to global energy security with investments in clean and renewable sources, said General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

In his inaugural speech at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2013, the World Future Energy Summit and the International Water Summit in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Gen. Sheikh Mohammed said the conferences and meetings of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week would be successful in achieving the goals.

“The UAE always called and calls for concerted efforts and constructive cooperation with the international community at all levels, both with governments, organisations or companies or individuals and innovators in an effort to reach the desired solutions for energy security,” he told an audience comprising 150 VIP delegates, including heads of states, ministers and experts.

French President Francois Hollande called for more investments in renewable energy projects to prepare for the post-oil era and to avoid global warming. “If we don’t spend ... we will have a catastrophe,” Hollande warned the summit.

Gen. Sheikh Mohammed urged the international community to double their efforts in energy security and investments in clean and renewable energy: “We have to intensify our efforts in achieving these goals because the future depends on the steps we are taking today,” he said.

He added the UAE’s efforts in energy security and sustainable development were the result of the wise leadership and approach by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, that was an extension of the legacy of the Father of the Nation, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

“The UAE has been supplying energy to the world for nearly half-a-century, and we are working to ensure energy, water and food security. This can only be achieved with the sustainable development that provides a decent life for present and future generations,” he said.

Gen. Sheikh Mohammed asserted that Abu Dhabi provided a global platform for cooperation and strategic partnerships “in order to find practical solutions to these challenges and, through initiatives such as the World Summit on Future Energy and the World Summit on Water and hosting the International Agency for Renewable Energy (Irena)”.

Earlier, he inaugurated the three-day Sustainability Week organised along with the two summits, an exhibition organised by Masdar at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and attended by Vice-President Sheikh Mohammed, French President Hollande and Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Other guests include Jordan’s Queen Rania Abdullah, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and Kosovo President Yahya Agha among others.

In his opening speech, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Masdar CEO, said the main themes of the Sustainability Week is to address future energy challenges.

“We are gathered here because we have a shared and common responsibility that requires us to achieve the delicate balance required between economic and population growth and limited resources. This balance is essential to building a sustainable future that is based on two crucial and interrelated elements... energy and water, and without them we cannot achieve economic and human development, and cannot fight against poverty and avoid conflicts,” he said.

He added that the UAE, which has the fifth-largest oil reserves in the world, believes that water is more important than oil “and believe that the energy and water deserve the same level of interest from world leaders”.

Dr Al Jaber explained that no one can turn a blind eye to the two lifeline resources, pointing out that seven per cent of the energy is used to produce water and at the same time 50 per cent of water is used to generate power and that might increase in the future. – Khaleej Times


Abu Dhabi's bold vision for sustainable energy is transforming this nation and inspiring our region: Queen Rania

Abu Dhabi's bold vision for sustainable energy is transforming this nation and inspiring our region .at a time when the Arab world is at a critical juncture, said Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan.

''No one can predict the future, but this much is true: energy requirements will play a vital role in determining it,'' she told the World Future Energy Summit which opened yesterday in Abu Dhabi by His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in the attendance of a distinguished and talented audience: politicians, business leaders, innovators, scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs

Speaking through the theme ''Where there is power, there is development'', Queen Rania said 'By being here today, you're already part of the solution to the global energy crisis. Fuelling our future with innovation and humanity. Bringing power, and with it, empowerment, to millions around the world. So, thank you Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abu Dhabi, and Masdar for bringing us together.

''The Arab world includes some of the richest and the poorest countries in terms of energy resources. This stark disparity is evident even in countries that share borders. Despite neighbouring some of the most oil rich countries, my country, Jordan, relies on imports to cover 96 per cent of our energy needs,'' she added.

''Our region hosts yet another contradiction. We're rich in the energy of our overwhelmingly young population, but poor in the opportunities we can offer them.

''But in the absence of long-term, sustainable solutions to our energy needs, progress will be slow and uneven. Not just in this region, but everywhere.

Today 1.4 billion people, 1 in 5 in the world, still cannot access grid electricity. For a billion more, access is unreliable. And without sustainable energy, there can be no sustainable development,'' she noted.

''Energy is humanity's lifeblood; where it flows, prosperity burgeons. Where it stalls, the impoverished and disadvantaged languish burdened by multiple challenges.

''With capital investment and political will, we could light up schools for children power health clinics for mothers and their babies and pump clean water for families.

''With new energy we could fuel a solar revolution bring about a boom in the science, engineering and manufacturing fields build green industries and green jobs and open new markets for aspiring entrepreneurs. Proven, innovative solutions exist. And I'm proud that many of them are coming from the Arab World.

''I'm proud of Abu Dhabi of its global leadership role in sustainable development. And Masdar City a test-bed for renewable energy and technology.

''And, I'm pleased that, for the first time, this conference is engaging and encouraging high school students to find innovative energy solutions, through the Zayed Future Energy Prize.

''But while there are many examples of new energy technologies, they are still too few and far between. They must be streamlined and scaled up. Made cheaper and more efficient.

''Ladies and gentlemen, there is an industry waiting to be tapped. And the Arab world is perfectly positioned not only to tap it but to lead it,'' she said.

''In so doing, we would be addressing one of the key fundamentals to a more corrective course for the region, using the potent energy of our people to chart the way forward,'' Queen Rania concluded. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


Masdar, France sign joint declaration to cooperate on renewable energy and energy efficiency

Yesterday at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Masdar signed a joint declaration with France in the presence of French President Francois Hollande.

The agreement was signed by Delphine Batho, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, and Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company.

The Joint Declaration paves the way for Masdar to work closely with French firms and institutions on the development and advancement of sustainable energy.

Potential avenues for collaboration under the Joint Declaration include facilitating the co-development of new commercially viable technologies, as well as exchanging expertise, human capital development and sharing experience with policies and regulations.

In addition, the agreement opens the door for joint research in renewable energy projects and sustainability technologies while strengthening existing cooperation on the Global Atlas of Renewable Energy.

"France and the UAE are equally committed to making a concerted effort to address energy security and sustainability," said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber. "The two countries are making bold investments in large-scale renewable energy projects and developing carbon reduction strategies." The UAE and France already have strong partnerships in the renewable energy sector. Total, the French oil and gas company, and Masdar have partnered to build Shams 1, the 100-megawatt concentrated solar power project in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, which is the largest solar power project in the Middle East. A third partner, the Spanish renewables company Abengoa, also has a stake in the project.

"This Joint Declaration builds on our already strong relationship and enables us to further explore new collaborative opportunities in the clean energy sector," added Dr. Al Jaber.

The UAE has played a leadership role in developing and deploying new clean energy technologies in recent years. In 2010, following Abu Dhabi's successful bid to host the Headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs established the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change to support a fuller international engagement on climate and energy issues, including support for the Agency.

The UAE is also making significant investments in the creation of a renewable energy industry, a move that will diversify both its economy and its energy mix.

"Long a leader in conventional energy, the UAE's ambitious turn to renewable energy is significant. This willingness should inspire more countries," said Delphine Batho "France and Masdar already have a robust working relationship in the energy sector. This Joint Declaration lays the necessary groundwork for us to learn even more from each other and continue to bring forward promising large-scale renewable energy projects," added Batho.

To tackle climate change and to boost the national economy, France is also making a strategic move to invest in renewable energy. Today, France's wind energy capacity ranks sixth in the world and the nation has a target to produce 23 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

President Hollande delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East. While at the gathering, he also visited the exhibition stand of Masdar.

The signing took place at the 2013 World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi, the world's foremost annual meeting committed to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies. WFES is one of the anchor events of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, taking place in the UAE capital from January 13-17. - Emirates News Agency, WAM



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