JAKARTA // Justice officials from the UAE and Indonesia will meet next month to draft an extradition treaty between the two countries. The agreement was made during an official UAE trade visit to Indonesia and Singapore, according to the state news agency WAM. The UAE Deputy Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, ended the tour yesterday by calling on UAE companies to give the Far East "the attention it deserved".
"We want to encourage the private sector to go into joint ventures and boost further economic and investment ties with the countries in the region," he was quoted by WAM as saying. The UAE had concentrated too much on the West, he said. "We need to change this trend. We therefore encourage the UAE public and private sectors to focus on Asia." In a press conference held before his departure from Jakarta, Sheikh Hamdan said the tour had achieved its objective of helping to boost ties with the two countries. Referring to previous trips to the region, he said: "East Asia is very important. I have made in the past similar trips to Japan, China and South Korea and the results were positive."
Salah Salim al Shamsi, the chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, also said the UAE public and private sectors were focused on Europe and America, giving too little attention to the Far East. He said the UAE and Indonesia agreed to set up a business council to follow up on investment opportunities in education, health, petroleum, petrochemicals and renewable energy. The oil and banking sectors were the main themes of conversation with Indonesian ministers.
Areas of discussion with Singaporean officials included the UAE's free taxation policy and a planned investment protection agreement. Meanwhile, ways of benefiting from Singapore's education programmes, particularly where students venture into small-scale enterprises, were also discussed. UAE students will be posted to Singapore to learn about such ventures. Answering questions on the UAE's relations with Iran, Sheikh Hamdan said the UAE expected better relations from Iran, "being a Muslim country and a neighbour".
According to WAM, he added that recent pronouncements by some Iranian officials related to Bahrain were "not encouraging". "Iran is still occupying the three UAE islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs," he said, adding that Iran "can never be able to move those islands to Tehran". Sheikh Hamdan was seen off on departure at Jakarta International Airport by the Indonesian deputy foreign minister, Triyono Wibowo, the UAE Ambassador to Indonesia, Yusuf Al Sharhan and the Indonesia Ambassador to the UAE, M. Wahid Supriyadi.