UAE supports Belt and Road Initiative: Minister of Economy

September 14, 2023 / 6:26 PM
Sharjah24 - WAM: Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, stressed that the UAE and China share strong strategic relations, which have witnessed continuous development in various fields and sectors.
In his statements to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Marri said that China is the largest trading partner of the UAE, which in turn is Beijing's largest partner in the Middle East and North Africa in terms of non-oil trade, reaching US$77 billion in 2022, a 27 percent annual growth compared to $61 billion in 2021.

China is the third-largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI), which totalled $6.3 billion, with bilateral investment between the two countries rising in recent years to a record level of $15 billion in 2022, he added.

The UAE is the preferred destination for Chinese companies interested in expanding into Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the Middle East, and North Africa due to its world-class infrastructure, including its ports, logistics centres, and free trade zones, which facilitate smooth trade and communication with different countries worldwide, he further added.

Cooperation with Chinese companies, such as Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi, JD.co, ByteDance, and NIO, is contributing to the digital transformation and growth of the UAE’s technology sector and driving innovation and entrepreneurship, he continued.

Al Marri also affirmed the UAE's support for the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to achieve shared prosperity and economic development, stemming from the country’s strategic stance to promote cooperation between the initiative and the Middle East through knowledge exchange and capacity building.

The UAE's non-oil trade with Hong Kong reached $12 billion in 2022, a nearly 50 percent growth over the past 10 years. FDIs from Hong Kong in the UAE totalled $2.1 billion, mainly in the retail and automotive sectors at 73 percent, manufacturing at 19 percent, and transportation and storage at 5 percent, he added.

Regarding the UAE successfully joining the BRICS group, Al Marri said that this membership is an international recognition of its positive and key role in the areas of trade, investment, international cooperation, and economic diplomacy over many years and reflects the country’s growing role both regionally and internationally, proven by its active participation in the United Nations (UN) system and the G20, and most recently, its full membership in the BRICS group.

Regarding the UAE's preparation to host COP28, Al Marri stated that climate change is one of humanity's most significant challenges this century, and the UAE believes in pluralism and international solutions to global issues.

He then pointed out that Zhang Jun, China's Permanent Representative to the UN, confirmed his country's support for the UAE’s hosting of COP28 and believes in its readiness to work with all parties to achieve a fair and equitable transitional process and promote international cooperation that serves the mutual interests of everyone, highlighting the UAE's efforts to establish a stronger green partnership with China.
September 14, 2023 / 6:26 PM

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