Strategic shift in relations between the UAE, China, US$50 billion trade between two countries: UAE Ambassador to Beijing

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BEIJING, 14th July, 2018 (WAM) -- Dr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, the UAE Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, has emphasised that the volume of economic and trade exchange between the UAE and China reached more than US$50 billion in 2017 and wished that this figure would double over the next ten years.

While meeting with the UAE media delegation at the UAE Embassy in Beijing, Al Dhaheri referred to the attention given by the Arab countries to China, especially the UAE, which enjoys strong relations with it. He also stressed the mutual visits at the highest level between the two countries for good relations between their people. This was established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who founded the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Centre for Arabic Language and Islamic Studies in Beijing.

The ambassador pointed out that the two countries enjoy transparent, credible and distinguished ties and conformity of ideas, aspirations, visions and common interests that bring them together thanks to the keenness of their leaders to work together.

He pointed out that the meetings between the Emirati and Chinese leaders enhance confidence and the distinguished relations between the two countries, the two governments, and the economic figures is a good indication of this.

The UAE diplomat also indicated that about 60 percent of the Chinese trade is re-exported through the UAE's ports to the Middle East and North Africa as well as African countries as China deems the UAE as the first transit gateway to the MENA region due to its international stature and the facilities provided to investors in all fields.

He also spoke about the One Belt, One Road Initiative in 2013 launched by the Chinese President, and noted that this initiative will work to link China with several countries in the world, including the UAE, and will have a significant and clear impact on those countries with ties to China not only through trade but tourism and cultural relations as well.

Regarding cultural ties, the UAE diplomat said the step taken by the two countries' leaders, namely visa exemption for the nationals of both countries, has had a great impact on strengthening the cultural relations between the two peoples.

Al Dhaheri noted that the visit of the Chinese President, beginning next Thursday, will witness the signing of a number of agreements, Memorandums of Understanding, and joint projects that will result in enhancing ties between the two countries in the light of their strategic partnership.

He also emphasised that the visit is historic and will result in increased interdependence between the two countries and will open the way to strengthening the ideas and aspirations between the two countries, which have a great match in visions and ideas.

He pointed out that the indicators of growth in the annual trade figures between the two countries are evidence of this, as they reached about $60 million in the early eighties and stood at $50 billion in 2017, which is more than 800 times.

Regarding the cooperation between the UAE and China on regional issues, especially combating terrorism, spreading peace and eradicating poverty, Al-Dhaheri said that there are permanent talks between the political leadership in both countries and exchange of views and ideas for spreading peace in the world and overcoming the obstacles facing peoples.

In the tourism and culture field, Al Dhaheri reaffirmed that the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UAE annually reached one million tourists while pointing out that there is a remarkable effort exerted by the UAE to attract Chinese tourists.

There are also many activities and events carried out by the Emirates and Etihad Airways to brief the Chinese about the UAE's landmarks in China and encourage raise their interest in visiting the UAE.