UAE, China keen on promoting bilateral ties in trade, culture

Updated 2017-09-25 18:01:12 Xinhua

In recent weeks, public and private institutions of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China have shown great interest in further expanding the bilateral business and cultural ties.

The bilateral trade between China and the UAE reached a total of 170.2 billion dirhams (46.37 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016, which made China the UAE's biggest trade partner for the third consecutive year, according to UAE Ministry of Economy.

Officials and business people of the two countries have repeatedly hailed the potential of further deepening the bilateral trades ties.

On September 17, the China-UAE Economic Investment Forum hosted a Chinese delegation from the Shenzhen International Investment and Promotion Association, which hopes to attract UAE investors to the Bao'an District, the "heartland for economic development on the East Coast of the Pearl River Estuary," said Zhang Zhibiao, director of Shenzhen Bao'an People's Congress.

Walid Abdulla Marhoon, senior manager of the Dubai Investment Development Agency, looked forward to enhancing cooperation between Dubai and Shenzhen, particularly in the fields of manufacturing, construction, textile, and information and communication technologies.

The UAE officially supports China's Belt and Road Initiative, or the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network that connects Asia with the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

Last Tuesday, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the biggest industry free zone in the UAE, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Xi'an International Trade & Logistics Park in central China's Shanxi Province.

The purpose of the MoU is to open doors for businesses in the UAE and China hoping to expand into new markets as well as organizing joint trade missions and economic delegations, the DMCC said in a statement.

Gautam Sashittal, chief executive officer of DMCC, said developing "closer ties in China" has become "a priority for DMCC."

"By signing this agreement with the Xi'an International Trade & Logistics Park, we aim to further help member companies in our Free Zone connect and trade across China and the UAE, while easing barriers to doing business globally," he said.

Even those Chinese firms which have already been operating in the UAE are keen to spread their wings.

Ivy Hu, sales manager of the kitchen equipment provider Furnotel from Guangzhou, said that her company saw potential of expanding business in the UAE and Saudi Arabia although they already had a client base there.

In addition, the China-UAE relations go beyond trade to include cultural and educational dimensions.

On Sept. 13, UAE University signed a MoU with Zhejiang University of China to promote scientific, research and expertise exchange, UAE state news agency WAM reported.

Last Saturday, the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park of UAE and the China-Arab Technology Transfer Company agreed to launch a innovation center to boost the partnership between UAE research institutions and Chinese companies.

Louis Zhang, founder and CEO of the China-Arab Technology Transfer Company, expressed the hope that the center will achieve the desired goal of promoting joint innovation, as well as knowledge and technology transfer between China and the Arab region.

Meanwhile, a rising number of grammar schools in the Gulf Arab state started to offer Mandarin language classes for pupils, which showcases the growing ties between the UAE and China, the Dubai daily Gulfnews reported earlier the month.

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