ABU DHABI - The partnership between key trading partners China and the United Arab Emirates is blooming and holds tremendous potential.
This is according to Jiang Xiheng, Vice President at the China Center for International Knowledge on Development, who was speaking at the 2018 Aqdar Summit on sustainable development taking place in Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
During a presentation entitled "UAE and China - Partners for Sustainable Development", Jiang said: "I am delighted to say that UAE is a very important Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partner and is a partner with great potential."
According to Jiang, "in 2017, the number of Chinese tourist arrivals in the UAE exceeded one million for the first time in history, and about 3.5 million Chinese tourists transited through UAE."
The UAE is one of the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and has become a key trading partner for China in the region.
Jiang said: "President Xi (Jinping) paid a visit to UAE this July and the ties between the two countries was enhanced to a comprehensive strategic partnership. The MOU of jointly building BRI was signed to strengthen the linkage between BRI and UAE Vision 2021.
"Broad consensuses were reached on bilateral cooperation in nine areas, which will strengthen the long-term economic, cultural, trade and investment ties between the two countries, especially in the areas of energy, non-oil sectors like services, and new technologies."
She cited the Khalifa Port Container Terminal, a project jointly built and operated by Chinese and UAE companies, which will be completed and running in the first quarter of 2019.
The China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone, located in the Khalifa Industrial Zone has made good progress, with 16 enterprises having signed letters of intent with a committed investment of around 1 billion USD.
She added that BRI is also about the further opening up of China’s market and increase of imports.
"China just hosted the first import expo and China will support and participate in Expo 2020 Dubai," she said. "We are confident about the promising future of a enhanced partnership for sustainable development between UAE and China."
The Aqdar Summit is an international platform that aims to develop sustainable societies, empower individuals and support important initiatives and awareness programmes that benefit communities across the globe. The summit calls for "Nourishing Minds, Flourishing Nations" and the theme this year is the "Role of Human Empowerment in Developing Stable Societies: Sustainable Development".
- African News Agency (ANA)