H.E. Dr. Sultan AL-JABER, The UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Mr. Patrick POUYANNE, chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies held, this Monday in Abu Dhabi, the first plenary meeting of the UAE – France High-Level Business Council which was also attended by Mr. Bruno LE MAIRE, French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty.
The first plenary meeting underlined the mandate bestowed on the Council by the leadership of both countries and set the framework for a comprehensive approach to significantly broaden and deepen the UAE – France economic ties by fast-tracking pragmatic and result-oriented programs and initiatives with an initial focus on Energy, Clean Energy and Climate Action, Transport & Logistics, Manufacturing, Technology, and bilateral Investments.
The Council represents a step change in the approach to identifying and delivering strategic joint programs and investments and will serve as a tangible outlet to expand the already vibrant economic cooperation that exists between the two countries business communities.
The establishment of the Council coincides with a very important year for the UAE, the year of Sustainability, and the year that UAE hosts the COP28, the most critical climate conference since the Paris Agreement. The work of the Council will synergize the efforts of both sides towards delivering impactful joint projects and initiatives that would support the drive to deliver transformational progress at the COP28 on climate action across all four pillars but with a focus on Mitigation, Adaptation, Financing, and Loss & Damage
The Council emphasized the importance of engaging the private sectors from both countries and pledged to build on existing model economic cooperation between French and Emirati companies, such as the one between Strata and Airbus, and foster it in all fields. In this regard, it was recalled that both countries are enjoying numerous investment opportunities in key strategic sectors in the framework of France 2030 and Make it in the Emirates. The UAE already hosts the largest number of French establishments in the Middle East, with around 600 subsidiaries employing more than 30,000 people. Reciprocally, the UAE is the second largest investor from the Arabian Gulf in France.
The High-Level Business Council set up three working groups dedicated to Energies and Climate (I), Transportation and Logistics (II), and Investments (III).
Each working group, gathering 10 French and Emirati companies, including SMEs and startups, will work together to identify concrete joint projects and initiatives of mutual interest and recommend implementation roadmaps with an immediate focus on those addressing energy security, strengthening supply chains, and climate action on the road to COP28 in the Emirates.
The working group dedicated to energies and Climate has already resulted in a first engagement on methane emissions reduction between TotalEnergies and ADNOC: the two companies are jointly committed to promoting ambitious action across the entire value chain, on a worldwide scale, to eliminate methane emissions in the oil & gas industry and to mobilizing all key players in the sector in order to make significant progress ahead of COP28.