OIL JOURNAL SPOKE WITH ARA MELIKYAN, RUSSIA’S TRADE REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UAE.
Mr. Melikyan, what are the goals of Russia’s Trade Mission in the UAE and the system of Trade Representatives worldwide in general?
Today we’re coming to the understanding that our Mission is representing Russia’s government abroad in the trade and economic spheres and that we should not operate as some sort of door-to-door salesman, but work systematically to create the conditions for promoting entire sectors of Russia’s economy.
Which spheres of economic cooperation between Russia and the UAE have the most promise? Are there specific projects that you are supporting?
This would be joint manufacturing, specifically as related to investments (joint R&D). Projects include Cortege [development of high-tech vehicles for transporting Russia’s top leadership – OJ], new air conditioning and desalinization systems and we’re starting negotiations about aviation and shipbuilding.
Another major direction is oil and gas, including incorporating Russian technology and equipment into production. We’re going to cooperate in the sphere of nuclear energy as well. Russian agriculture products are increasingly being exported to the UAE.
Are you working with the Russian Export Center (REC) in promoting Russian products in foreign markets?
We had the idea to open an expo center for Russian products in the UAE and are awaiting the REC’s reaction.
Are you expecting any positive shifts in Russian-UAE trade and economic relations after the upcoming meeting between Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and President Vladimir Putin?
I think it will give impetus to the major, even historic, agreements that have already been reached between our countries.
Mr. Melikyan was born in Yerevan (the capital of modern-day Armenia) and graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) with a degree in international economics and knowledge of Arabic, English and French. He holds a Ph.D. in economics and has authored numerous articles on the economies of the Middle East as well as a book titled A Differentiating Dictionary of Arabic Synonyms. In 2009 he was appointed Russia’s Trade Representative to Egypt and in 2016 - Russia’s Trade Representative to the UAE. Mr. Melikyan is married and has one daughter.
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