ABU DHABI – Germany and the UAE as strong economic partners will continue “the old-fashioned trade,” but they have an opportunity to make joint investments in new technologies and businesses of the “new economy” that will help achieve their net-zero targets, a top German diplomat told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
“We have very good economic relations. But there’s an important message that I want to make. Trade is a kind of the old-fashioned thing and that will continue, and it will be mutually beneficial. But the new thing that what’s really interesting for the future is that we both need to invest into technologies and businesses of the new economy – the knowledge based, sustainable, climate compatible economy,” said Ernst Peter Fischer, the German Ambassador to the UAE.
New technologies, new revenue streams
In an exclusive interview with WAM on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the German-UAE diplomatic relations, he pointed out that the UAE is transitioning to new economic sectors, moving away from hydrocarbons.
“Germany is also in what we call the 4th Industrial Revolution. All our production, all our businesses are smart – connected digitally; and Artificial intelligence will help them transition to the new, fully digital, smart, and sustainable economy. We [can] invest together in new technologies, new businesses. We share the intellectual property and that will open up new revenue streams for us. That’s what’s the really interesting thing. And that’s what I’ve been trying to work on while I’m here,” the envoy said.
Citing the renewable energies as an example, he explained that for achieving climate-neutral target by 2045, Germany will have to import several hundred-terawatt hours’ worth of hydrogen and its derivatives [alternative green fuels]. “The UAE has the capacity to produce those green fuels because you have abundant solar energy and you have the know-how from your history on production of fuels,” Fischer pointed out.
Importing hydrogen from UAE
Mentioning the green hydrogen projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the diplomat suggested, “We can look at the whole value chain of what we call green fuels from production to transport and use them in German industry. Usually, they power their plants with gas, but we’re going to get away from it because it’s also causing climate change. Germany is going to be a big test case, with our big companies making steel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals [switching to green fuels]. Among all those areas, this is one area where the UAE and Germany can cooperate and really invest together,” the ambassador explained.
Some German companies have already invested in renewable energy sector in the UAE, he said. Of more than 1000 German companies operating in the UAE, most of them are in machinery, machine tools, equipment, and vehicles. However, the new trend is investments in knowledge-driven, sustainable businesses, the envoy said.