FOCUS: China and UAE logistics
China is the second largest trading partner of the UAE, while the UAE is considered a gateway to about 60% of China's merchandise exports to the regional markets, according to a recent statement by Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy.
Al Mansoori made the comments on the side-lines of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), an event which serves as a platform to feature the most prominent investment opportunities. He gave a speech reiterating that the UAE and China enjoy strong trade partnership, a result of a long and deep-rooted relationships between the two countries.
Indeed the strength of the logistics industry in the UAE is largely a result of the country’s strong ties with China. The UAE is home to nearly 300,000 Chinese citizens for living and working purposes, along with more than 4,000 companies, 249 trading agency, and 5451 Chinese brands registered by the UAE Ministry of Economy.
According to Al Mansoori, non-oil trade volume between the two countries in 2014 surpassed USD 46 billion (AED 170 billion), registering a growth in bilateral trade relations of direct trade in 2014 of 28% compared to 2013. The total value of non-oil foreign trade during the first half 2015 was AED 88.6 billion (USD 24.1 billion).
These figures are projected to grow further due to the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and ‘Maritime Silk Road’ joint initiatives launched by China and its trading partners, such as the UAE. The initiatives represent additional support to the international collaboration between the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa, across more than 60 countries.
The UAE has become a hub in the Middle East and an ideal channel that links the east with the west. Through world-class infrastructure and stable trade relations it also has access to 220 markets around the world, making the UAE eligible to play a dominant added-value role in the Silk Road Initiative.
Al Mansoori said there is an open discussion between the UAE and China about the possibility of enhancing opportunities to take advantage of this constructive initiative. Moreover, he said the UAE has shown eagerness in this ambitious initiative by joining, as a founding member, to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.