His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, held discussions with the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, in the presence of a high-level UAE delegation accompanying His Highness. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Second Belt and Road Conference for International Cooperation currently being held in the Chinese capital.
His Highness said that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan,, and the follow up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is working to further enhance its relationship and expand collaboration with China. The leaders of the two countries have a strong intent to expand the strategic partnership between the two countries, which was reinforced with the visit of Xi Jinping to the UAE last year.
"The economic collaboration between the two countries adds a new strategic dimension to the historic UAE-China partnership, and we are keen to widen this collaboration. We look forward for exploring new collaboration opportunities between the public and private sectors of both countries. Our objective is to promote cooperation in every sphere," Sheikh Mohammed said.
His Highness said that the collaboration with China serves the future strategic vision of the UAE and supports the objectives of both countries to accelerate development.
"China is a great country with one of the world’s oldest civilisations. It has been our main commercial partner over the last five years, and we aim to increase the value of commercial exchange between the two countries to USD70 billion by 2020. Our partnership supports the development efforts of both countries, and creates new growth opportunities. The strong mutual will to expand collaboration provides a strong basis for the realisation of our future joint strategic objectives," His Highness said.
The two countries are working to boost collaboration in the business sector at a time when the number of Chinese tourists to the UAE is on the rise. Over 850,000 Chinese tourists visited China in 2018.
The two leaders also discussed means to boost collaboration between the private sectors of both countries, and ways that Chinese companies can benefit from the investment environment and strong infrastructure offered by the UAE. The UAE provides Chinese businesses a platform to access vast emerging markets surrounding it with a total population of over 2 billion. Over 4,000 Chinese companies have already based their regional headquarters in the UAE.
Sheikh Mohammed praised the Belt and Road initiative, which paves the way for a new phase of international cooperation. He pledged the commitment of the UAE to providing all the support necessary to making the initiative a success.
His Highness also praised China’s accomplishments in advanced sciences. "The technological and scientific advancements made by the Chinese provide an opportunity to increase knowledge exchange in building technical and human capabilities. Collaboration in building human capabilities is a key area in which we aim to expand our partnership," His Highness said.
Welcoming His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and his accompanying delegation, the Chinese President Xi Jinping praised His Highness’s efforts to enhance bilateral relations and cement ties between China and the UAE.
The Chinese President also praised the leading role played by the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, regionally and globally, and its contribution to boosting international collaboration and building bridges between people. He said this reflects the progressive international relations policies followed by the UAE, and its keenness to promote tolerance and collaboration.
The discussion covered various topics related to boosting bilateral relations that are set to add a new strategic dimension to the longstanding relationship between the two countries.
The meeting was attended by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group; Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future; Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy; Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation; Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority; Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director-General of the Dubai Protocol and Hospitality Department; and Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, the UAE Ambassador to China.
Joint UAE- China investments are flourishing in various sectors including ports operations, the development of economic zones, industries, petrochemicals, oil and gas, technology, and others. Sectors that the two countries are exploring future cooperation in include innovation, technology and scientific research, advanced sciences, artificial intelligence, and small and medium-sized projects.
China is the UAE’s main trade partner with non-oil trade between the two countries exceeding US$53.3 billion in 2017. The UAE accounted for 30 percent of Chinese exports to Arab countries, and 22 percent of the Sino-Arab trade in 2017. Over 4,000 Chinese firms operate in the UAE including a large number of free zone firms and trade agencies.