UAE minister hails outstanding ties with China; Trade up 35%

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Sheikha Lubna Bint Khaled Al-Qassimi, the UAE Minister of Foreign Trade. Photo -

The UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, said the volume of bilateral trade between the UAE and China has grown at a remarkable annual rate of 35% over the last 10 years and surpassed $35 billion during the last 12 months. Addressing the China-Arab Leadership Forum at the Annual Investment Meeting 2012, Sheikha Lubna Bint Khaled Al-Qassimi also noted that the UAE enjoys a wide and ever-growing consumer base for various Chinese goods and products. She also hoped to see bilateral trade relations develop and expand further between both countries.

China is considered as one of the most important trade partners of the Gulf States, including the UAE. It is the largest importer of hydrocarbons produced by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The annual volume of Chinese exports to the Gulf region reached around $60 billion last year, marking a ten-fold increase.

Sheikha Lubna stressed that platforms like Dubai’s Annual Investment Forum and the China-Arab Exchange Association help stimulate and organise trade relations between the GCC and China and provide a wonderful opportunity to strengthen ties with the People’s Republic of China.

The UAE minister, also the most influential Arab woman, said the country provides a gateway to access a market of nearly 5 billion consumers in the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent, thanks to the strategic benefits and promising investment incentives available. She also highlighted the growth opportunities available within the growing industrial sector, which attracted investments worth $31 billion last year.

The minister urged business people from China and around the world to invest in the UAE which offers a stable economic and political environment and provides companies the opportunity to benefit from advantages such as the absence of taxes on corporate and personal income, the ability to repatriate 100% of earnings to company’s home countries, providence of excellent infrastructure and the availability of cost-efficient energy resources.

Speaking at the China-Arab Leadership Forum at the Annual Investment Meeting 2012, Beijing Vice Mayor Cheng Hong said that trade from the UAE to Beijing was $4.53 billion, up 33.5%. He also pointed out that Beijing accounts for 13% of the total trade between China and the UAE.

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