UAE Minister of State, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber met with high-ranking officials from the People's Republic of China in Beijing for bilateral discussions regarding opportunities to strengthen economic and trade ties between the UAE and China.
The bilateral discussions were aimed at reinforcing the growing strategic partnership established between the two countries, and at exploring further collaboration and investment opportunities across sectors of mutual interest, including energy, infrastructure and technology.
Dr. Al Jaber met with Zhang Yesui, vice minister of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, as well as H.E. Ning Jizhe, vice chairmen of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The NDRC holds administrative and planning control over the Chinese economy, and formulates policies for economic and social development.
As part of these on-going efforts, the UAE signed the Articles of Agreement (AOA) establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in June, and became a founding member of the international financial institution. The AIIB was created to promote regional and international cooperation in infrastructure development across Asia with a focus on energy, power, transportation and telecommunications, among other focus areas. The establishment of AIIB will also play a crucial role in supporting the President of China, Xi Jinping's ambitious strategic initiative "One Belt, One Road," a development strategy and framework that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries across Eurasia.
"The UAE and China share a deep-rooted relationship based on a shared vision, mutual respect, and common economic and political interests," said Dr. Al Jaber. "We've seen this relationship develop even further this year, with the UAE becoming a founding member of the AIIB. We look forward to cultivating our relationship with China further, and capitalising on the opportunities to collaborate across sectors that are key to the sustainable development of both countries, such as energy, finance, manufacturing and technology."
During the visit, Dr. Al Jaber also met with the Wang Yilin, Chairman of the China National Petroleum Corporation and Mr Zhang Xuguang, President of the China Development Bank (CDB). CDB is primarily responsible for raising capital to fund large Chinese infrastructure projects, such as the Three Gorges Dam and Shanghai International Airport.
Trade between the UAE and China increased by 16 percent annually for the past six years and reached DH 201.28 billion ($54.8 billion) in 2014. With 4,200 Chinese companies registered in the UAE, the Emirates are the largest Middle East market for Chinese products. China's economy grew by 6.9 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).