The 6th session of the UAE-China Joint Economic Committee held in the capital of Beijing, China has concluded. The UAE delegation was headed by H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, while the Chinese side was led by Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China.
The two parties reported their achievements in the development of cooperative frameworks in several vital areas of common interest since the fifth session of the Joint Economic Committee. The most notable involved trade, investment, energy, infrastructure, financial services, tourism, as well as the steps taken to establish effective models for industrial cooperation and the exchange of expertise in the fields of information technology (IT).
The participants also expressed their satisfaction over the advanced level of their continuously growing bilateral economic and trade relations, and emphasized the importance of taking advantage of the major opportunities available to the companies of their respective countries to increase investment and trade cooperation.
The meeting was attended by H.E. Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, the UAE Ministry of Economy’s Undersecretary for Economic Affairs. Also present were Mohammed Al Shamsi, UAE Deputy Ambassador to China; Badir Al Musharrekh, UAE Commercial Attache in China; and senior officials and representatives of government authorities from the UAE.
Strong relationship founded on friendship
H.E. Eng. Al Mansoori said: “The United Arab Emirates and the People's Republic of China enjoy strong relations based on friendship, mutual respect and common interests. Our countries value the meetings of the Joint Economic Commission as important and highly effective platforms for promoting economic, trade and technical cooperation in line with our common development aspirations.”
The Minister noted that the two countries have signed several agreements to enhance and sustain cooperation on trade, investment, industry, aviation, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), conventional and renewable energy, information technology, telecommunications, tourism, logistics, and financial services.
The figures affirm the importance of this partnership and its potential for growth, sharing that non-oil trade between their countries reached USD 46.3 billion in 2016 and noting that China is the UAE’s second largest trading partner, while the UAE is one of China's top trade allies in the region.
H.E. added that the two nations have developed an active model of cooperation in the aviation sector, linked by more than 75 flights a week covering various major Chinese cities. In fact, the UAE investments in China exceeded USD 2.1 billion in 2016.
The Minister said that under the guidance of its wise leadership, the UAE has adopted an ambitious economic policy and developed a flexible and open development paradigm to cope with the changes and challenges affecting the global economic landscape. These, he explained, are reflected by UAE Vision 2021 which aims to establish a diversified and globally competitive economy driven by knowledge and innovation.
He added that these policies and economic development initiatives have a lot in common with China's economic direction, especially the broad development initiative ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative which the UAE has promised to fully support and contribute effectively to.
For his part, H.E. Shan said that his country is committed to enhancing its strategic partnership with the UAE, especially in the economic and trade fields. He pointed out the importance of the agreements and memorandums of cooperation signed by the two sides, saying that they will contribute to the development of bilateral trade and investments, SMEs, and innovation.
He also underscored the great potential for further developing partnerships between the two countries, especially in light of the emergence of various development initiatives – most notably the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. He assured that Chinese companies remain highly interested in the UAE markets because of its unique business environment, which is being further heightened by preparations for Expo 2020 and strategic projects in infrastructure, transport, and other major fields.
13 vital sectors leading UAE-China relations
The minutes of the committee's meeting confirmed the importance of cooperative and strategic links between UAE Vision 2021 and China's ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, particularly through the expansion of existing cooperative frameworks and the strengthening of economic and trade ties between UAE and China.
The two sides agreed to continue their joint efforts and take all the necessary measures to strengthen cooperation in the coming years by focusing on 13 vital sectors, namely trade and economic ties, investment, industry, energy and renewable energy, SMEs and innovative industries, health, education, tourism, infrastructure, financial services, standards and measures, space and aviation, and local cooperation.
They also reached an agreement on exploring cooperation in the protection of intellectual property rights to ensure sound and sustainable bilateral trade growth. The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of e-commerce using the experiences and practices possessed by the Chinese as well. They also discussed cooperation in Halal products.
The two sides praised their outstanding collaboration in the field of space, which represents great prospects and agreed to take their partnerships to a higher level. They also expressed their mutual desire to explore ways to increase the number of connecting flights between their countries in the future.
Three MoUs and two Cooperation Protocols signed
The 6th UAE-China Joint Economic Committee meeting also witnessed the signing of three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and two Protocols, which included;
1- Memorandum of Understanding between the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Industry and Information technology of the PRC on ‘Cooperation in the fields of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) and Innovation’; signed by H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and H.E. Miao Wei, Minister of Industry and Information technology of PRC.
2- Memorandum of Understanding between the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Commerce of PRC on ‘Trade Remedies’; signed by H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and H.E. Zhong Shan, PRC’s Minister of Commerce.
3- Memorandum of Understanding between the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Investment Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Commerce of PRC on ‘Bilateral Investment and Related Trade Promotion Cooperation’; signed by H.E. Eng. Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Economic Affairs and H.E. Liu Dianxun, Director General of the Investment Promotion Agency.
4- Cooperation Protocol (1) between the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Commerce of PRC on the ‘Five-Year Action Plan on Mutual Business Visits’; signed by H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and H.E. Zhong Shan, PRC’s Minister of Commerce.
5- Cooperation Protocol (2) between the UAE Ministry of Economy and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products of the PRC on the ‘Implementation of the Five-Year Action Plan on Mutual Business Visits’.