Growing UAE-China Strategic & Economic Ties

by Irum Akbar

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The strategic ties between the UAE and China in the past five years have led to close cooperation on all fronts, with the UAE becoming China’s main commercial partner in the region, reflecting the vision and the mutual coordination of the leadership of the two friendly countries. During the past five years, the UAE and China have established a number of important partnerships in various sectors, especially in the field of energy, which has witnessed the signing of strategic partnership agreements confirming the important role of the UAE in supporting the Chinese Belt and Road initiative.
IN a bid to further enhance the bilateral cooperation in diverse fields both the UAE-China have inked at least 16 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), related to various sectors. This initiative has been made on the first day of UAE-China Economic Forum in Beijing. Agreement on defence and military cooperation signed by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China.
The forum, organised by the Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with the Presidency Affairs Court, various economic departments and the Economic Chambers Federation, is a key part of the programme of the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to China.
Held under the slogan, ‘Sustainable Partnership, Sustainable Investment,’ the forum aims to reinforce the cooperation between representatives of participating companies and investors and the leaderships of the two countries, under the framework of their partnership dating back three decades that developed into a strategic partnership, which includes the 13 key pillars of commerce, investment, oil, clean energy, tourism, health, environment, space, construction and innovative industries.
With the attendance of over 240 leaders and business leaders from the UAE, the forum was inaugurated by Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and Mohammed Al Abbar, Chairman of the Emaar Group, who was the forum’s guest of honour. In his opening speech, Al Mansouri said, I am delighted to speak at this leading economic forum, which is being held as part of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed’s visit to China.
Zhong Shan, Chinese Minister of Commerce, also delivered a speech during the forum, which highlighted the distinguished relations between his country and the UAE, as well as future opportunities to improve them, adding that the agreements signed by both sides will reinforce their bilateral ties.
Mohammed Al Abbar, Chairman of the Emaar Group, said that the cooperation between the two countries are witnessing ongoing development, due to the support of their governments while describing China as a leading economic and social partner, and noting that the presence of officials and business leaders from both countries highlight the keenness of their public and private sectors to enhance their ties.
The forum presented a film on the UAE, followed by a discussion session, titled, Invest in the UAE, which was attended by officials representing the Economic Development Department-Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Investment and Development Company, Shorouq, the Dubai Export Corporation, the Fujairah Free Zone Authority, the Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone Authority, and the Abu Dhabi International Market.
The China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corporation, CPECC, is implementing the Bab Integrated Facilities Expansion project valued at $1.5 billion, with an expected completion by the end of 2020. The project’s scope of work involves the expansion of integrated processing facilities at the Thamama-A, Thamama-B and Thamama-H production zones located at Habshan, Abu Dhabi. The project will have a total sustainable oil production rate of 450,000 barrels a day. The digital oil field technology will be introduced to remotely monitor and analyse well performance.
CPECC has also participated with the China Offshore Oil Engineering Company, COOEC, to design the Belbazem oil project, one of the Al Yasat projects, at an estimated cost of $1 billion. The outcome will be declared in Q4 of 2019. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, has awarded contracts worth $1.6 billion for the world’s largest continuous 3D onshore and offshore seismic survey, covering an area up to 53,000 sq km, to BGP Inc, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Company, CNPC.

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