The UAE and Romania have underlined their determination to develop a comprehensive partnership, affirming that their bilateral relations have developed substantially over the past 29 years. In a joint statement issued today, the two countries expressed their desire to further widen and enhance their friendly relations and to strengthen their mutual understanding and cooperation. The two sides agreed that the UAE is an important partner for Romania in the Gulf and in the wider Middle East region, underscoring the importance of further developing their relations across various domains. Romania acknowledged the UAE as its first trading partner in the Gulf Cooperation Council. The UAE acknowledged that Romania's membership in the European Union is a source of new opportunities for closer and more dynamic relations between the two sides. They reconfirmed their willingness to continue a structured dialogue and collaboration within international organizations. They reaffirmed their desire to deepen the bilateral dialogue in order to address common economic and social challenges. The two countries hailed the progress achieved during the 1st session of the Intergovernmental Romania – UAE Joint Committee, held in Bucharest, on 16-17 April 2018, expressing their determination to further strengthen their socio-economic partnership to ensure prosperity and development for their peoples. The two sides emphasised the importance of continuing high-level visits between the two countries to further develop a comprehensive partnership in all areas of cooperation with forward-looking engagement. Both parties agreed to resume the work of the Joint Economic Committee co-chaired by the UAE's Minister of Economy and Romania’s Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship. They expressed mutual desire to explore the collaboration opportunities between various clusters, including automotive construction, high tech, agriculture and food, energy, aerospace, mechanical, electrical, creative and cultural sectors, tourism, IT&C (including block chain technology) health and medical sciences, constructions, maritime, textile, furniture, green energy and logistics. It was also agreed to give priority to bilateral trade and investment missions and programmes designed to support small business, young entrepreneurs and innovative start-up communities in order to stimulate economic growth and ensure prosperity in both countries. The two countries reaffirmed the importance of promoting cultural exchanges in the fields of art, architecture and music and agreed to work together to adopt an Action Plan in the near future to establish concrete steps that they will undertake to strengthen and widen the scope of the Strategic Economic Partnership.