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Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Xi Jinping during the former’s visit to China Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is due to make a state visit to China next week.

Taking to his official Twitter account, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed announced the state visit on Thursday.

During the visit, Sheikh Mohammed and Chinese President Xi Jinping will review the comprehensive strategic cooperation between the two countries across various sectors, in addition to regional and international issues of common concern.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed will be accompanied by a high-ranking delegation comprising a number of Sheikhs, ministers, and senior officials.

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Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed at The Great Wall of China. Sheikh Mohammad will be accompanied by a high-ranking delegation during his upcoming visit to China. Image Credit: WAM

The visit comes three months after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited China to attend Beijing’s Belt and Road conference in April.

During the visit, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid launched a megaproject to build a ‘traders market’ in Dubai over an area of 60 million square feet on the sidelines of China’s Belt and Road conference in Beijing.

As part of the $1 billion project, huge complexes and cold storage warehouses will be built for importing, processing, packaging, storage and re-export of agricultural, livestock and fish products.

The economic collaboration between the two countries adds a new strategic dimension to the historic UAE-China partnership and we are keen to widen this collaboration.

- His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum | Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

The Zhejiang China Commodities City Group Co Ltd. will use the Merchants’ Market to store and ship Chinese goods to various countries of the world from Jebel Ali Free Zone.

The Merchants’ Market will include large logistics warehouses and wholesale retail outlets, and will strengthen Jebel Ali Free Zone’s role in supporting regional and global trade movement.

The two agreements were signed during Sheikh Mohammed’s visit to China, leading the UAE’s delegation to the Second Belt and Road Conference for International Cooperation held in the Chinese capital.

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Image Credit: WAM

“China is a great country with one of the world’s oldest civilisations. It has been our main commercial partner over the last five years, and we aim to increase the value of commercial exchange between the two countries to $70 billion by 2020,” Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid said during his April visit to China.

“The economic collaboration between the two countries adds a new strategic dimension to the historic UAE-China partnership, and we are keen to widen this collaboration. We look forward for exploring new collaboration opportunities between the public and private sectors of both countries. Our objective is to promote cooperation in every sphere,” Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid said.

He added the collaboration with China serves the future strategic vision of the UAE and supports the objectives of both countries to accelerate development.

“Our partnership supports the development efforts of both countries, and creates new growth opportunities. The strong mutual will to expand collaboration provides a strong basis for the realisation of our future joint strategic objectives,” he said.

UAE-China ties

The relationship between the countries has been strong since December 1, 1971 when China officially recognised the UAE federation. The friendship was formalised on November 1, 1984 when both countries established diplomatic ties.

$53b

value of UAE-China two-way trade pegged in 2017

Two-way trade was pegged at roughly $53 billion (Dh194.64 billion) in 2017. The UAE accounted for 30 per cent of Chinese exports to Arab countries, and 22 percent of the Sino-Arab trade in 2017.

30%

of Chinese exports to Arab countires in 2017 came to UAE

The UAE provides Chinese businesses a platform to access vast emerging markets surrounding it with a total population of over 2 billion. Over 4,000 Chinese companies have already based their regional headquarters in the UAE.

The Chinese expatriate community in the UAE is estimated at more than 200,000, the largest in the Middle East and more than a million Chinese tourists visited the UAE in 2017, up from 600,000 in 2016.