By G9ija

Omar Ghobash, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Cultural Affairs, visited several countries in Central America to promote further cultural and economic cooperation.

During his tour, he met with representatives of Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Belize and Honduras to discuss exchange programmes in the areas of education, culture, youth and the creative economy, as well as opportunities related to the participation of Central American countries in Expo 2020 Dubai.

He also met with Jose Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, Archbishop of Panama, to talk about tolerance. They addressed the historic visit of Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, to the UAE in 2019 and the signing of the Human Fraternity Document, which aims to promote the values of global peace and mutual coexistence.

Diversity and coexistence are leading values of the UAE and Central America and offer a common basis for strengthening relations and reinforcing cooperation. The UAE also plays a key role in supporting the trade, sustainable energy, aid and development sectors in Central America.

The commercial trade between the UAE and Central American countries has grown by over 40 percent in the past five years, and by over 1,000 percent in the past 20 years. The value of Emirati investments in the region has bypassed US$673 million, including $50 million in the form of grants for renewable energy projects.

On 25th June, 2021, the UAE joined the Central American Integration System (Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana or SICA) as a non-regional observer member.