The 6th session of the UAE-China Joint Economic Committee held in China’s capital of Beijing, has concluded with the two sides reporting their achievements in the development of cooperative frameworks in several vital areas of common interest.
The UAE delegation was headed by Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, while the Chinese side was led by Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China.
The most notable achievements include the signing of several agreements to enhance and sustain cooperation on trade, investment, industry, aviation, small- and medium-sized enterprises, conventional and renewable energy, information technology, telecommunications, tourism, logistics, and financial services.
In a meeting to announce the developments, the participants also expressed their satisfaction over the advanced level of their continuously growing bilateral economic and trade relations, and emphasised the importance of taking advantage of the major opportunities available to the companies of their respective countries to increase investment and trade cooperation.
The meeting was attended by Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, the UAE Ministry of Economy’s Under-Secretary for Economic Affairs. Also present were Mohammed Al Shamsi, UAE Deputy Ambassador to China, Badir Al Musharrekh, UAE Commercial Attache in China, and senior officials and representatives of government authorities from the UAE.
Commenting on the latest joint developments, Al Mansouri said, “The United Arab Emirates and the People’s Republic of China enjoy strong relations based on friendship, mutual respect and common interests. Our countries value the meetings of the Joint Economic Commission as important and highly effective platforms for promoting economic, trade and technical cooperation in line with our common development aspirations.”
The figures affirm the importance of this partnership and its potential for growth, sharing that non-oil trade between their countries reached US$46.3 billion in 2016 and noting that China is the UAE’s second largest trading partner, while the UAE is one of China’s top trade allies in the region.
He added that the two nations have developed an active model of cooperation in the aviation sector, linked by more than 75 flights a week covering various major Chinese cities, with UAE investments in China exceeding $2.1 billion in 2016.
The minister went on to say that under the guidance of its wise leadership, the UAE has adopted an ambitious economic policy and developed a flexible and open development paradigm to cope with the changes and challenges affecting the global economic landscape. These, he explained, are reflected by UAE Vision 2021 which aims to establish a diversified and globally competitive economy driven by knowledge and innovation.
He added that these policies and economic development initiatives have a lot in common with China’s economic direction, especially the broad development initiative ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, which the UAE has promised to fully support and contribute effectively to.
Shan in turn expressed his country’s commitment to enhancing its strategic partnership with the UAE, especially in the economic and trade fields. He pointed out the importance of the agreements and Memoranda of Cooperation signed by the two sides, saying that they will contribute to the development of bilateral trade and investments, SMEs, and innovation.
He also underscored the great potential for further developing partnerships between the two countries, especially in light of the emergence of various development initiatives – most notably the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative.
The Chinese minister assured that Chinese companies remain highly interested in the UAE markets because of its unique business environment, which is being further heightened by preparations for Expo 2020 and strategic projects in infrastructure, transport, and other major fields.
The minutes of the committee’s meeting confirmed the importance of cooperative and strategic links between UAE Vision 2021 and China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, particularly through the expansion of existing cooperative frameworks and the strengthening of economic and trade ties between UAE and China.
The two sides agreed to continue their joint efforts and take all the necessary measures to strengthen cooperation in the coming years by focusing on 13 vital sectors, namely trade and economic ties, investment, industry, energy and renewable energy, SMEs and innovative industries, health, education, tourism, infrastructure, financial services, standards and measures, space and aviation, and local cooperation.
They also reached an agreement on exploring cooperation in the protection of intellectual property rights to ensure sound and sustainable bilateral trade growth. The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of e-commerce using the experiences and practices possessed by the Chinese as well. They also discussed cooperation in Halal products.
The two sides praised their outstanding collaboration in the field of space, which represents great prospects and agreed to take their partnerships to a higher level. They also expressed their mutual desire to explore ways to increase the number of connecting flights between their countries in the future.