Masdar News

UAE Looks to Strengthen Economic Ties With China in Bilateral Talks

29 May 2014

H.E Dr

Sultan Al Jaber, minister of state, holds meetings with government and business

May 30, 2014, Abu

Dhabi – Major Gen Omar al Bitar  Opportunities to strengthen economic ties

between the United Arab Emirates and China, were the focus of talks during a

two-day visit to China by UAE minister of state H.E Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.

The visit is expected to lay the ground work for increased economic

activity between the UAE and China which is growing at more than 14 per cent

annually. Discussions explored opportunities for collaboration and investment

across sectors of mutual interest, including energy, infrastructure and technology.

 

During the visit, H.E. Dr Al Jaber met with senior Chinese

government officials, including the Vice Foreign Minister of China, H.E. Zhang

Yesui. Talks were also held with H.E Hu Zucai, vice chairman of the National Development and

Reform Commission (NDRC) as well as the Chief

Economic Officer of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

 

The NDRC holds

administrative and planning control over the Chinese economy, with a function to formulate policies

for economic and social development. The commission recently opened up 80 Chinese

projects across a range of industries for private investment. The move was made

parallel to China's foreign exchange regulatory agency, SAFE, announcing

measures to ease foreign currency transactions and support foreign trade and

investment in China. SAFE overseas over 4 trillion US dollars of China’s

external assets.

 

Dr. Al Jaber also met with Zheng Zhijie, the vice chairman

of the China Development Bank (CBD), and CEO of the China Development Bank

Capital, Fan Haibin. CBD is

primarily responsible for raising capital to fund large Chinese infrastructure

projects, such as the Three Gorges Dam and Shanghai International Airport.

Commenting on his visit to Beijing, Dr Al Jaber said: “China

and the UAE have a strong and growing bilateral relationship based on shared

values and common political and economic interests. We are exploring opportunities to collaborate

across various sectors of mutual interest including, new and traditional

energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, technology and finance.”

 

Trade between the UAE and China topped AED 169.67 billion

(US $46.23 billion) in 2013, compared to AED 148.27 billion (US $40.4 billion)

in 2012. With 4,200 Chinese companies registered in the UAE, the Emirates are

the largest Middle East market for Chinese products.

“With the accelerated growth of both our economies and our common

vision for partnership, we see tremendous opportunity in working together to

support our development plans and to contribute to the broader global economy,”

added H.E Dr. Al Jaber.

China’s economy advanced 7.4 percent in the first quarter of

2014, slowing from a 7.7 percent expansion in the previous period, but beating

market forecasts. Industrial production growth rose to 7.3 percent year on

year. Manufacturing increased 9.9 percent and the production and supply of

electricity, heat, gas and water went up by 4.5 percent.