Co-chaired by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, and Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, Minister of Economy and Planning, the meeting followed the inaugural session of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council held in Jeddah last June, headed by Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince, and Chairman of the Council for Economic Affairs and Development, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The council was established according to a cooperation agreement signed between the two countries in May 2016 to serve as a platform for coordination and consultation on vital issues of common interest.
In June, the two countries announced a joint vision for economic, developmental and military integration through 44 joint strategic projects. A total of 350 government officials from 139 government, sovereign and military entities prepared "The Strategy of Resolve" within 12 months. The strategy outlines three main axes: the economic axis, the human and knowledge axis, and the political, security and military axis.
Al Gergawi said that the UAE and Saudi Arabia constitute a model for full integration and harmony as they share common visions on a host of issues of mutual interest. ''The two countries are taking deeper, stronger and strategic steps to bring about happiness and prosperity to their peoples.'' ''The first meeting of the chairmen of the council's executive committee complements efforts being made under the umbrella of the longstanding, strong bilateral ties,'' he stated.
''We are determined through this committee to achieve the maximum benefit from opportunities and potential for joint cooperation and set a general framework to integrate efforts between work teams in implementing projects. Now, we have more than 175 initiatives and projects which will define a new reality and era of constructive work in the region,'' he added.
The first meeting of the committee saw the formation of three other committees regarding the three main axes of the strategy. These committees will work to ensure optimum cooperation in areas of implementation of projects in each axis within the set timeframe.
The creation of the coordination council reflects the strategic vision through which Riyadh and Abu Dhabi will address their challenges, depending on their respective sources of strength.
The economies of the two countries are worth $1 trillion (the largest in the Middle East), and their exports make them one of the top ten exporters in the world, with a value of more than $700 billion. The volume of non-oil trade between the two countries is worth $24 billion, while imports totalled nearly $550 billion.
The Strategy of Resolve includes a plan to establish an agricultural investment company with a capital of AED5 billion, a joint venture fund for renewable energy and a third investment fund for small and medium enterprises. AED150 billion will be invested annually in infrastructure projects, which generates huge opportunities for bilateral cooperation.