The UAE is the largest market in the Middle East for Chinese products, and the trade between the two countries is set to expand further in the next few years as officials held discussions to increase economic cooperation.
Last year, trade between the UAE and China topped AED169.67 billion ($46.23bn) in 2013, compared to AED148.27 billion ($40.4bn) in 2012. More than 4,000 Chinese companies are registered in the UAE as of Q4 of last year. Recently, UAE’s minister of state Dr. Sultan Al Jaber visited China to hold talks and find ways to enhance trade between the two economies.
The visit laid the groundwork for increased economic activity between the UAE and China, which is growing at more than 14 per cent annually. The talks explored opportunities for collaboration and investment across sectors of mutual interest, including energy, infrastructure and technology.
Dr Al Jaber met with senior Chinese government officials, including the vice foreign minister of China, Zhang Yesui. Talks were also held with Hu Zucai, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) as well as the chief economic officer of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).
The NDRC holds administrative and planning control over the Chinese economy, with a function to formulate policies for economic and social development. The commission recently opened up 80 Chinese projects across a range of industries for private investment. The move was made parallel to China’s foreign exchange regulatory agency, SAFE, announcing measures to ease foreign currency transactions and support foreign trade and investment in China. The foreign exchange body overseas more than $4 trillion worth of China’s external assets.
“China and the UAE have a strong and growing bilateral relationship based on shared values and common political and economic interests. We are exploring opportunities to collaborate across various sectors of mutual interest including, new and traditional energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, technology and finance,” says Dr Al Jaber, adding: “With the accelerated growth of both our economies and our common vision for partnership, we see tremendous opportunity in working together to support our development plans and to contribute to the broader global economy.”
China’s economy advanced 7.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2014, slowing from a 7.7 per cent expansion in the previous period, but beating market forecasts. Industrial production growth rose to 7.3 per cent year on year. Manufacturing increased 9.9 per cent and the production and supply of electricity, heat, gas and water went up by 4.5 per cent.
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