Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed has begun three-day visit to China, meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other high-level Chinese officials to discuss ways in which to boost cooperation in various sectors.
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed arrived in China on Sunday, marking the beginning of a three-day trip in which he is expected to sign a number of agreements with Chinese officials.
On Monday morning, Sheikh Mohamed arrived at China’s Great Hall of the People to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other high-level Chinese officials to discuss ways in which to boost cooperation in various sectors.
Additionally, the two world leaders will oversee the signing of at least 10 agreements focused on the economy, environment and oil sector.
According to Dubai TV, Sheikh Mohamed is also expected to be in attendance at a joint economic summit featuring hundreds of Chinese and UAE business leaders, as well as visit Emirati students studying at Chinese universities.
A number of UAE government officials and business leaders, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Said bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, CEO of Adnoc and chairman of Masdar.
Other business leaders visiting China alongside Sheikh Mohamed include Mubadala Group CEO Khaldoon Al Mubarak and Lulu Group International chairman Yusufali MA.
Increased bilateral trade
A total of 200,000 Chinese nationals are estimated to live in the UAE, with bilateral trade between the two nations going up 6.2 percent to $11.2 billion in Q1 2019 compared to the same time period the previous year.
“China-UAE trade is expected to maintain the momentum of rapid growth throughout 2019 and beyond,” Chinese ambassador Ni Jian was quoted as saying by the UAE’s state-run Wam news agency.
“China and the UAE have made solid steps in our cooperation under the ‘Belt and Road’ framework and yielded remarkable achievements,” the ambassador added. “Our cooperation in commodities trade is optimising, with the UAE maintaining its status as China’s second largest trading partner and top export market in the Middle East and North Africa region.”
The ambassador added that Chinese investment in the UAE reached $9.1bn in 2017, while FDI in the UAE was worth $620 million in 2017.
“In general, Chinese companies in the UAE have been growing by leaps and bounds, especially at a time when our bilateral relations are thriving,” Ni Jian said.
Sheikh Mohamed’s visit to China marks his fourth visit to the country. His last visit was in 2015.
Last year, Xi Jinping became the first Chinese leader to visit the UAE in 29 years, marking the beginning of a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ announced between the two countries.