|Dubai Ruler to Visit China to Increase Bilateral Trade|
By Talal Malik
August 22, 2007
Dubai's ruler is set to visit China on September 6 for a two-day visit aimed at
boosting bilateral trade, which currently stands at $14.2 billion.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the
UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will be attending a meeting of the World Economic Forum
(WEF) in the coastal city of Dalian, northeast China, which will focus on the
'new champions' of the global economy.
The UAE’s trade with China grew by 31.8% in 2006 from the previous year, jumping
six-fold since 2000, according to figures quoted by Emirates Today.
“We will be welcoming over 1,700 participants to the inaugural annual meeting of
the new champions," said WEF managing director Peter Torreele. “Our business
champion CEOs will be joined by international government leaders, leaders of the
world's most competitive cities and the fastest growing regions and states.”
Sheikh Mohammad’s visit is the third high-profile visit between the two
countries this year, coming after President Hu Jintao's visit to the UAE in
January and UAE Minister of Economy Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi’s visit to Beijing in April.
The Dubai ruler will be joined by Mohammad Al Gergawi, executive chairman of
Dubai Holding, who has been selected as one of the 12 mentors of the World
Economic Forum on Growth.
The UAE is China's second largest trade partner among the GCC countries and the
largest market for Chinese exports in the region. Both countries have recently
demonstrated high GDP growth, with the Emirates’ economy growing by about 9.4%
in 2006, while China logged an 11.1 per cent rise in the first quarter of this
year. With high crude oil prices and strong economic growth, Gulf investors now
represent some of the largest and most important providers of capital in today's
financial markets. These investors are increasingly looking to Asia, China in
particular, to capitalise on opportunities and to diversify their economies and
portfolios. The rapid-fire growth of China’s economy, companies and institutions
do not pose any threat to the world, Klaus Schwab, founder of the WEF and
executive chairman of China-Middle East Investment Forum has said – rather, it
offers more opportunities for the development of other states and their
institutions.A recent report by Emirates Industrial Bank has highlighted the
increasing role of countries such as China, India and Malaysia in the 18.6 per
cent growth of the UAE's non-oil foreign trade during 2006 to AED 340.1 billion,
compared with AED 286.8 billion registered in 2005.