Beijing: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Friday attended the inaugural session of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation taking place in the Chinese capital Beijing. Held under the theme ‘Shapinga Brighter Shared Future’.
Shaikh Mohammad underlined the integral role of the UAE in boosting international cooperation and strengthening ties between the region and the world. This role is based on its policy of openness and its keenness to build bridges with other nations.
Shaikh Mohammad highlighted the importance of the historic and strategic trade relations between China and the UAE, which have been strengthened by constantly expanding social and cultural ties. He also praised the goals of the initiative to enhance cooperation between partner countries in three continents and breathe life into the historic Silk Road.
“The UAE is a partner in building the Belt and Road Initiative. The plans for the future under the initiative’s framework are aligned with our vision. The UAE’s advanced infrastructure, logistics capabilities, and its long-standing position as a trade hub adds to the momentum of the Belt and Road Initiative. We look forward to cooperating with all stakeholders to make sure this remarkable global project is a success,” Shaikh Mohammad said.
On the cooperation between China and the UAE, Shaikh Mohammad said, “We are in full agreement with each other to expand our already thriving cooperation. Not only will the Belt and Road Initiative cement the status of the UAE as a regional trade hub, but will also benefit the countries in our region and beyond.”
First proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious effort to expand regional cooperation and improve connectivity on a global scale. Through infrastructure investment and regional cooperation, the initiative has the potential to accelerate the rate of economic integration and development, as trade costs decline.
Shaikh Mohammad attended the opening address of Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which he welcomed world leaders and delegations to China and highlighted the accomplishments of the Belt and Road Initiative so far and the cooperation between China and partner states.
From 2013 to 2018, China’s direct investment in the Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) partner countries exceeded $90 billion (Dh330.3 billion), and generated $400 billion. In the past year, Chinese companies invested $15.6 billion in BRI partner countries, reflecting a year-on-year growth of 8.9 per cent. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, China has reached 173 agreements with 125 countries and 29 international institutions.
Meeting with Chinese Vice-President
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday (Friday) met Wang Qishan, Vice-President of China, to discuss bilateral cooperation, as part of his meetings with Chinese President and Premier.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Second Belt and Road Conference for International Cooperation currently being held in the Chinese capital. The Conference, which runs until April 27, features the participation of 40 leaders of countries around the world and over 150 delegates.
During Shaikh Mohammad’s meetings with Chinese officials, it was agreed to move towards a new phase of economic partnership and bilateral cooperation, especially in trade exchange and tourism movement. They also agreed to encourage investments and stimulate new opportunities for the UAE private sector and its Chinese counterpart.
Shaikh Mohammad expressed the UAE’s appreciation to the pivotal role played by China thanks to its cultural, political and economic weight. He added that the Chinese president’s visit to the UAE last year has given a strong boost for the UAE-China partnership. He further stressed the UAE’s keenness to enhance bilateral cooperation with China in various economic, scientific, technological and cultural fields.
The meeting touched on the latest regional and international developments and discussed a number of issues of mutual concern. Both side have agreed on and highlighted the importance of establishing security and peace in the Arab region and the necessity of concerted international efforts to find effective solutions to common challenges facing the world at different political, economic and environmental levels.
Present at the meeting were Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group; Mohammad Al Gergawi Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future; Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy; Anwar Mohammad Gargash Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimi, Minister of State for International Cooperation; Dr. Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State; Khaldoun Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority and CEO of Mubadala; Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman Director General of Dubai Protocol Department and UAE Ambassador to China Dr. Ali Obaid Al Daheri.