UAE and China cement trade relations


His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Wednesday attended the UAE-China trade and economic forum in Shanghai.

Three agreements and one memorandum of understanding (MoUs) were signed between big UAE and Chinese companies at the forum, where about 200 CEOs and senior businessmen from both countries were present.

The first MoU, between Emaar Properties and China Group Limited, will study establishing entertainment, health, educational and real estate projects in Shanghai and other Chinese cities. Mohammed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, signed the MoU on his company’s behalf.

The second agreement was signed by etisalat with Hua Wa Woi to attract the Chinese company’s expertise in developing staff working in the UAE telecommunications sector.

Tejari signed two agreements with the Chindao Group and Shanghai Worth to build trade partnerships between the two sides.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, said in a speech that economic relations between the two countries were flourishing. She attributed this to the UAE being one of the most investment-friendly countries in the Arab world thanks to its facilities and competitive advantages and China having one of the fastest growing economies of the world. She spoke about the rapid development of economic relations with Beijing, revealing that China’s exports to the UAE went up from Dh8.2 billion in 2001 to Dh31bn in 2006. They jumped last year to Dh70bn, she said, and called on Chinese companies to further invest in the UAE.

Salah Al Shamsi, Chairman of the UAE Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said the enthusiastic participation in the forum by both sides affirmed their awareness of the importance of trade and investment alliances in the future, given the UAE’s position in the Middle East and the high potential of Chinese industries that have spread all over the world. He hoped the forum would establish a new phase of economic relations between the two countries.

Don Sung, Deputy Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said Sheikh Mohammed’s visit to Chinese financial capital Shanghai showed the Emirates seriousness to seek better trade relations with China.
In Depth