Dubai: Chinese companies, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in the electronics sector are eyeing the UAE to expand their presence internationally and have a footing into the Middle East.
At the fifth annual China Trade Week on Monday, over 300 Chinese companies were exhibiting their products, aiming to ink deals with local distributors or find partners to open offices in the UAE.
Organisers behind the event said it was expected to strengthen trade and economic ties between China and the UAE.
“They (the Chinese companies) already have some share of the Chinese market, but they also want to enter international markets, especially emerging markets. We’ve already taken the show to Brazil and Indonesia, and the UAE will be like a platform to enter the region. We still haven’t entered neighbouring countries such as Saudi,” said David Wang, managing director of MIE Groups, which is organising the event.
The fifth China Trade Week comes as the UAE and China both work to boost bilateral trade and economic ties between them to capitalise on growth in both markets.
In late July, officials in Abu Dhabi said five Chinese companies will start operations in the emirate’s industrial zone with an initial investment of $300 million (Dh1.1 billion). The companies, from China’s east coast, operate in sectors that include power and metals, natural resources, and banking, Reuters reported.
“We see the potential in the UAE market, and we also believe our products can compete in the local market. Of course, we already sell some mobiles and home electronics in the market, but we want to introduce more brands here,” Wang said.
He added the organisers were taking the China Trade Week to other countries including Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Ghana, and Ethiopia, among other emerging markets where Chinese companies aim to expand.
China is currently Dubai’s biggest non-oil trade partner, with Dh44 billion worth of trade in the first quarter of 2017. Around 60 per cent of China’s total trade also passes through the UAE, from where it is re-exported to Africa and Europe.
In 2016, bilateral trade between the UAE and China reached $45 billion, while, in the tourism sector, around 600,000 Chinese visitors visited Dubai last year.
China Trade Week UAE runs till September 27 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), and is expected to draw over 4,500 visitors.
Other sectors represented at China Trade Week include construction, machinery, home and smart electronics, interior design, hardware and tools, auto parts, and food and beverage, among others.