PREPARATIONS are underway for Solomon Islands to open a new diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) this year.
Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, revealed this to the visiting UAE non-resident Ambassador to Solomon Islands, Abdullah Al Subousi yesterday.
Prime Minister Sogavare said Abu Dhabi is a strategic location for the diplomatic mission, a regional hub for the gulf region, North and East Africa where many large corporations around the world, including SMEs have established their regional offices and operations.
“Government is committed to establish diplomatic Mission in Abu Dhabi in 2023. This is an opportunity to enhance our bilateral relationship and further exploring more opportunities to have cooperation in the gulf region,” he added.
Prime Minister Sogavare emphasised that the establishment of any embassy in Abu Dhabi is a priority for Solomon Islands and it is crucial in strengthening the SI-UAE engagement centred on mutual respect and admiration.
He added, “the very fabric of the SI-UAE engagement has been the work to secure mutual benefits from engaging with each other on areas of common interests.
“Solomon Islands acknowledges assistance from UAE on the Partnership in the Pacific Program and other developments both at the bilateral and international levels. Further cooperation opportunities include renewable energy, tourism investment, aviation, trade and labour mobility.”
Prime Minister Sogavare also took the opportunity to congratulate UAE on the successful hosting of the World Expo in Dubai.
He said the theme of ‘connecting minds-creating the future’ was realised for Solomon Islands through the forging of trade partnerships, securing a distributor for Solomon Islands canned tuna exports.
“This is but only the start of greater opportunities and connections to be formed for businesses, trade and investment,” the Prime Minister added.
The Prime Minister also told the visiting diplomat that Solomon Islands is keen to explore labour mobility engagement with UAE in the unskilled and semi-skilled sectors for seasonal or short-term labour mobility opportunities.
He also congratulated UAE for its preparations to host the upcoming COP28.
“There are enhanced investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector, as well as to transform land and sea-based transport sectors to low carbon systems,” the Prime Minister added.
Ambassador Abdullah Al Subousi meanwhile told Prime Minister Sogavare that his current visit is the first of many more meaningful visits to Solomon Islands.
“UAE will step up dialogue and cooperation with Solomon Islands at all levels and that our relations will continue to grow from strength to strength,” he added.
He also conveyed an invitation for Prime Minister Sogavare to be a guest at this year’s COP28 to be hosted by UAE.