UAE, China set to sign deals; promote FDI, investments
China has maintained its position as Dubai's biggest trading partner. - File photo
The UAE's initiative to take top delegation of business leaders and companies to China is expected to manifest in deeper trade ties as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces has embarked on the official trip on Sunday.
Almost 240 attendees are expected to attend the programme and it is reported almost 200 UAE-based business leaders and companies have joined the delegation for China trip, which concludes on Tuesday.
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, chief executive of Adnoc Group and chairman of Masdar; Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy; Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Group CEO of Mubadala Investment Company; and Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, are among the top UAE leaders visiting China, the world's biggest economy.
Among the UAE businesses, Yusufali MA, Chairman, Lulu Group International; and Kamal Vachani, group director, Al Maya Group; are also included in the high-level delegation.
The UAE Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with a number of government agencies, will organise an economic, investment and trade forum on the sidelines of the visit to explore maximum opportunities to bolster bilateral economic ties in years to come.
An official reception will also be held to mark the 35th anniversary of the UAE-China relations. The objective of the official trip is to promote foreign direct investment, promote investment opportunities for government projects and sign number of MoUs between the two sides.
Essa Abdulla Al Ghurair, Board Member of Dubai Chamber who is joining the UAE delegation, said China and the UAE have already been enjoying strong economic and political relations and the Belt and Road initiative will take these ties to the next level.
"The UAE is a key connection point for China's Belt and Road Initiative, only to be boosted by Dubai's Silk Road strategy that will seek to develop the emirate's logistics sector as it cements its status as a strategic link in global trade."
Over the last few years, China has maintained its position as Dubai's biggest trading partner in 2018, with Dh139 billion ($37.8 billion) worth of trade. The similar upward growth momentum is maintained as bilateral trade surged 11.37 per cent during first five months of 2019 to $19 billion.
China has stepped up its efforts in recent years to open up its economy to foreign investors and Chinese companies are increasingly looking abroad for new growth opportunities. Economic diversification is a top priority for the UAE and boosting the country's trade with China and foreign direct investment are critical to achieving the ambitious targets that have been outlined under the UAE Vision 2021.
The UAE is expected to play a prominent role in China's Belt and Road Initiative as a logistics hub strategically located between Asia, Europe and Africa. It is estimated that around 70 per cent of Chinese exports are re-exported from the UAE to other markets in the GCC, India and North Africa. Located along the New Silk Road, the UAE serves as a gateway for Chinese companies to easily access emerging markets.
Within China, Dubai Chamber focuses its efforts on building bridges between Dubai-based businesses and their Chinese counterparts. In 2016, Dubai Chamber opened a representative office in Shanghai, reflecting its strong commitment to boosting bilateral relations. Since then, we have seen bilateral trade increase steadily, while the number of Chinese companies registered with Dubai Chamber has grown to exceed 3,400 today.
"The Shanghai office is building and developing relationships with public and private sector stakeholders in China and surrounding markets. We are focusing our efforts on identifying attractive business opportunities in China that offer the most potential to Dubai Chamber members," Al Ghurair said.
"We invite UAE businesses to participate in trade missions that we organise in China where delegates can learn about the local market and explore new business opportunities, while we participate in various trade fairs, events and conferences held in China throughout the year where we promote Dubai on an international level," he added.