Greece and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to create a €4 billion ($4.22bn) initiative to invest in the Greek economy during a visit by Greek premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Investments will be made in sectors including infrastructure, renewable and new forms of energy, health care and pharmaceuticals, food and agriculture, and logistics.
For the initiative, a deal was signed between Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ and Hellenic Development Bank and Hellenic Development Bank of Investments.
The UAE and Greece have forged a strong economic and military alliance in recent years. Last year, the countries’ official export credit agencies signed an agreement to boost bilateral trade. In 2020, the two states inked a foreign policy and defense cooperation deal.
During the meeting of Mitsotakis with the heir to the throne of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the two countries confirmed the strategic nature of their relations.
I was pleased to meet with the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. We discussed ways to further develop our strategic relations and witnessed the signing of several agreements between our two nations. Our talks also covered the latest regional & international developments. pic.twitter.com/tPR2k81PRK
— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) May 9, 2022
During their meeting, Mitsotakis stressed that “the close contacts between our two countries, at all levels, demonstrate—I believe—the excellent level of our bilateral relations and the understanding we have on a wide range of issues.”
He emphasized that Greece can become a key entry point for natural gas to the European Union from the Middle East and the southeastern Mediterranean.
Greece is keen to attract investment from the UAE
“Significant investments are being made to that effect and we would like to explore the possibility of [deepening] strategic cooperation and of attracting investment from UAE,” said Mitsotakis.
At the same time, Mitsotakis stressed that Greece is speeding up gas exploration in its own national territory.
“This prospect could create room for further strategic cooperation [between the two countries],” he said while expressing interest in the development of offshore wind farms.
In his comments, the Emirates’ crown prince underscored the significance of the strategic partnership agreement signed between the two countries in November 2020, adding that economic trade between the two countries increased by 76 percent as a result of the deal.
He said the UAE is interested in expanding bilateral cooperation in the areas of energy, technology, health, and food safety.
This is Mitsotakis’ third visit to the UAE as Greek PM.