Trade between the UAE and China is expected to increase to $60 billion by the end of this year, up from $54.8 billion in 2015, according to the Dubai Economic Council.
It said the UAE is now China’s second largest trading partner in the Middle East and the region’s biggest market for Chinese goods, news agency WAM reported.
China, whose trade with the UAE stood at only $63 million in 1984, now has more than 4,200 companies operating in the UAE as well as $8 billion in direct investments, concentrated in the UAE construction and trade sectors.
Hani Rashid Al Hamli, secretary-general of the Dubai Economic Council, said during a meeting with a Chinese business delegation that Dubai alone accounted for 89 percent, or $49 billion, of the trade between China and the UAE in 2015.
He added that the Dubai Expo 2020 will represent a vital area of activity for Chinese companies.
“Transforming Dubai into the biggest destination of Chinese direct investment in this region is being driven by directives from the wise leadership to bolster economic relations between the two countries and make China a strategic partner in development projects,” the official said.
The UAE is viewed as a key hub along the ‘New Silk Road’. Chinese investors are increasingly viewing the Gulf state as a rewarding location to expand their business.
Earlier this month it was reported that Dubai Wholesale City, the largest wholesale hub in the world currently under construction, has signed a memorandum of understanding with The China Commodity City (CCC) Group, the world’s largest exporter of goods.
The agreement will facilitate mutual trade and investment activities and the exchange of expertise, with a focus on developing wholesale trade destinations and wholesale e-commerce.
Dubai Wholesale City will collaborate with the Municipality of Yiwu City and the Government of Zhejiang Province, the largest shareholders in the Commodities City Group, in terms of investment and business development in the trade, manufacturing and logistical services sectors.