Bilateral trade between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China is expected to expand to US$80 billion in the next two years, the UAE Undersecretary for Foreign Trade said at Asia House’s major conference in Dubai.
His Excellency Abdulla Al Saleh said China’s presence in the UAE was “continuously growing, with more than 4,000 registered companies and 356 trade agencies.”
“China was ranked as the UAE’s largest trade partner in 2016, and bilateral trade is seen expanding to US$80 billion in the next two years, according to the China Foreign Trade Centre,” he said.
The Undersecretary’s comments highlight how Asia and the Middle East are becoming increasingly important to each other – a theme explored during the ‘New Global Trade Order’ dialogue, held in partnership with DMCC.
His Excellency also spoke optimistically about the UAE’s economic prospects, outlining the positive role of global trade in the country’s fortunes.
“International trade has been, and will continue to be, a significant driver of growth for the UAE’s economy,” he said. “In fact, we predict a rise in the share of the non-oil sector in the UAE’s GDP to 80 percent by 2021, compared to 70 percent in 2017.”
The Middle East’s geographic position is a key factor in its success, especially as exports from emerging Asia increase. Touching on this issue, the Undersecretary highlighted the Africa-China trade development corridor as a “major part of Dubai’s success,” adding that “with ongoing growth in East African sea trade, the business flow is set to rise further.”
The Undersecretary’s participation in the conference was an indication of the event’s high profile. Earlier in the week, His Excellency had announced the UAE Ministry of Economy’s official support of the conference, saying the endorsement “made perfect strategic sense.”
Speaking at the trade dialogue, which was sponsored by HSBC, His Excellency said: “Some of the world’s leading thinkers on global trade and investment are taking part in this conference, and the aim is to provide insights and analysis to help business leaders and policymakers better understand – and capitalise on – the new global trade order.
“This conference has added value and importance because it is taking place at a time when the global trading order is changing rapidly.”
Watch the conference overview video