UAE-China relations advantageous across sectors: Chinese Academic

BEIJING, 17th July, 2018 (WAM) — A Chinese academic has praised the flourishing ties between the UAE and China.

Ding Long, Deputy Dean of the School of Foreign Studies, at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), said that there are mutual advantages to UAE-China ties.

According to Long, China’s mainly imports oil and its derivatives from the UAE. Dubai, he added, is a regional trade hub and a significant extension for the Chinese market to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

In 2017, the volume of trade between China and the UAE reached US$50 billion. “These figures,” Long explained, “confirm the strength of trade and investment ties between the two countries.” The UIBE Deputy Dean said that he expects this figures to increase further in the coming years, with the help of the two countries’ leadership who seek to strengthen bonds of cooperation.

He went on to note the diverse range of Chinese exports, which include electronics, clothing and footwear, among other daily consumer goods. Long highlighted Dragon Mart in the Emirate of Dubai – the largest trading hub for Chinese products outside mainland China – as a major hub for Middle East traders. Such outlets and mechanisms, he explained, provide opportunities for greater economic cooperation.

As for the engineering and infrastructure sector, Long said that the UAE and China have already established great partnerships, referring to the various Chinese engineering and construction organisations based in the UAE. He also highlighted the agreements between ADNOC and the China National Petroleum Corporation, CNPC.

Commenting on sustainable and renewable energy solutions and practices, Long said that many large Chinese companies are working on significant projects in the UAE.

Currently, works on the world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power project are underway in Dubai. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has partnered with China Shanghai Electric and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power to construct the AED100 billion project.

These ties, Long said, are indicators for future growth and expansion across new realms between the two countries, especially following President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to the UAE.

As for the UAE’s interest in further developing ties with China, the Deputy Dean said that China is considered a large global market.

With a 1.4 billion population, China is the largest consumer market in the world; it is also the largest consumer and importer of oil and gas in the world, he continued, adding that the country has excellent export potential with a diverse consumer goods portfolio.

Commenting on the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, Long stressed that the initiative aims to strengthen partnerships with Arab countries, as confirmed by the China-Arab Cooperation Forum.

He expressed his belief that the initiative will pave the way for opportunities and growth in the UAE and neighbouring Arab countries. Long highlighted the UAE’s significant trade and economic weight in the Arab economies, adding that it will play a key role in parlaying China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Long also praised the UAE’s entry visa exemption provided for Chinese citizens, adding that it is a great incentive and open opportunities for cultural and tourism exchange between the two countries.

Worth noting, the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UAE totalled some one million tourists in 2017.

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