Abu Dhabi: Trade between the UAE and China has increased fivefold over the past 10 years with a growth rate of 395 per cent — $15.6 billion (Dh57.3 billion) in 2012 from $3.12 billion in 2002. During this period, both countries achieved steady economic growth that was capable of overcoming the ramifications of the slowing global economy. Trade between the two countries is expected to grow faster in the future especially that China is now the world’s second largest economy.
In a study released on Monday by the Ministry of Foreign Trade (MOFT) on trade relations between the UAE and China on the sidelines of the UAE’s participation in the “Ningxia International Investment and Trade Fair 2012” and the “2nd China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum”, which are scheduled to take place between Wednesday and Sunday of this month in the city of Yinchuan, the capital and largest city of the autonomous Chinese Ningxia region, the Ministry stated that the People’s Republic of China maintained its status as the UAE’s second largest trade partner, revealing that trade between the two countries grew to $15.6 billion in 2012, in comparison with $14.2 billion in 2011 (with a 10 per cent growth rate). The main imports from China were electronic appliances, radio audio recording devices, cameras, mechanical tools and devices, and articles of iron and steel. As to the main exports to China, those were plastics and their products, copper and its products, as well as iron and its products.
The study also revealed that the Halal food industry and market in China should be explored further as the market was worth $2.5 billion last year having grown by 10 per cent from the year before, revealing that the Halal food sector in China is witnessing an increase in demand considering the presence of millions of Chinese Muslims.
The study added that the UAE is considered one of the fastest growing economies in the Middle East and that China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world — currently in second place — which creates a number of opportunities and areas for cooperation between the two countries in a number of strategic sectors such as financing, real estate, construction and foreign trade, where MOFT hopes to play an important role.
The study stated that the Chinese Ningxia Province is one of the top five agricultural provinces in China and has an abundance of fertile agricultural land (19 million hectares suitable for agriculture). It added that many international companies are now investing in Ningxia in order to benefit from the preferential treatment offered to them by the Chinese Government and from the good investment climate provided by the Ningxia Government to attract profit seeking capital.
The study added that the province’s well established infrastructure, which enjoys modern highways, railways, ports, airports and communication mediums, has helped it attract investments. It pointed out that the province also enjoys economic, commercial and investment relations that it accrued with a number of countries through the exchange of visits and the holding of economic, trade and investment negotiations. In 2005, the province actively started to strengthen its relations with its top 9 partners (Benin, Japan, Italy, Hungary, South Korea, Norway, Romania, Morocco and Palestine).
The Ningxia Province is regarded as one of China’s most important tourist provinces. It is home to some of the country’s most scenic mountains, ancient ruins, the Yellow River, the Great Wall and the Great Wall Museum. The Province also enjoys an abundance of unique and architecturally artistic Masjids, as well as a vibrant and ancient culture rich with folkloric songs and captivating dances.
Ningxia is also rich with mineral resources such as goal, gypsum, petroleum, natural gas, sandstone, quartz, iron ore, copper, silicon and others.