Event Reports

Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel at the Gulf

German Chancellor Angela Merkel started her 4-day visit to the Gulf States in Abu Dhabi. This gave KAS the opportunity to give a short overview on the activities of its still young Regional Program Gulf-States. Her visit shows the increasing importance of the region - not only economically but also politically. Against this background the Chancellor welcomened KAS’ commitment and activities. Jidda in Saudi-Arabia, as well as Qatar and Bahrain are the next stops on the trip.

In a speech in front of the Joint German –Emirati Business Committee in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dr. Merkel emphasized the positive relations between the two countries. Various important agreements were due to be signed, she continued. Talks with the President of the UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan centered on security and energy policies. Other topics were the conflict in the Middle East as well as Iran. During the visit a number of economic projects were initiated.

Renewable energies have become a central theme in UAE politics and various German companies have been an active part of this movement, spearheading some of the new energy projects in the gulf region. The country prepares itself for the times when oil-reserves are no longer a sufficient energy source and is investing into building an emissions-free city of the future. At an on-site visit in Masdar city Chancellor Merkel, who was accompanied by high-level business delegation, inquired about the progress of the project.

The Chancellor identified education as another potential field for development: She encouraged increasing German-Emirati cooperation on all levels of education from universities to vocational training. But also the further development of the legal system, e.g. with regards to competition regulations and copyright law give room for future cooperation, according to Angela Merkel.