The UAE Minister of Economy, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, on Tuesday met Russian Minister of Agriculture, Aleksandr Nikolayevich Tkachev, on the sidelines of the Gulfood 2016, a major food and hospitality trade event in the region.
The UAE imports around 80 per cent of its food needs, a major challenge that the UAE is working to overcome in the future, Al Mansouri said during the meeting.
Non-oil trade between the UAE and Russia, including trade in free zones, stood at $3 billion in 2014, he noted.
The pair discussed ways of bolstering UAE-Russian economic and trade cooperation in agriculture and food security through joint investments, exchange of expertise and using the UAE's advanced infrastructure as a gateway for Russian goods to the Middle East and North Africa.
Minister Al Mansouri said his ministry prioritises food security at all talks with strategic partners.
He noted that the UAE takes interest in benefiting from what he described as Russia's "non-traditional" solutions to common challenges in managing water resources and arable lands.
The minister also noted that it was important to encourage the private sector as a pillar of expanded cooperation between the UAE and Russia in agriculture and food industry.
Senior officials from the Ministry of Economy and Russian Ambassador to the UAE, Alexander Efimov, attended the meeting.