United Arab Emirates, China Signed $3.4 Billion Worth Deals

UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
United Arab Emirates Vice President and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is seen during a welcoming banquet, after the welcome ceremony of leaders attending the Second Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China April 26, 2019. (Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/Pool via REUTERS)

China and the United Arab Emirates expanded its investment ties through new deals worth $3.4 billion. World Economic Forum President Børge Brende said that the deal is not a surprise.

Mr. Brende said during an interview with the CNBC's "CapitalConnection" that China is now the second largest economy in the world and Asia is now 50 percent of global GDP and a lot of countries like the UAE see huge market opportunities in China.

The new deals signed by the two nations are part of China's Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road Initiative is a massive infrastructure project of China that involves the construction of roads, railroads, and shipping lines between China and not less than 60 nations in Asia, Europe, Middle East, and North Africa. The new deals are expected to boost an existing $53 billion worth of bilateral trade to $70 billion next year.

United Arab Emirates' Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum joined the Belt and Road forum held in China on the weekend. Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the deals during the event.

China is the second largest trading partner of the United Arab Emirates and the latter serves as a major gateway for Chinese exports to the Middle East. As part of the new deals, the two nations launched a number of new investments which included the development of a 60 million square feet station at the new Silk Road in Dubai for Expo.

Sheikh Mohammed, who rules Dubai, said in his tweet on Saturday that their Chinese partner will invest $2.4 billion in using the station to store and ship Chinese products from Jebel Ali to the world.

The United Arab Emirates became an essential player in the Chinese president's Belt and Road initiative. Mr. Brende said that they are living in a very different world than we did ten years ago. It's a multipolar, multi-conceptual world. He added that multipolar, in the sense that we see much more geopolitical competition and it's also multi-conceptual because there are different ideologies out there. He emphasized that it's not only one that they are used to, with the U.S. and Western Europe way of running things. He also said that in such a word, he thinks that what is important is that we can find common ground and collaborate on these issues and not just compete with each other.

The sheik's tweet said that the Arab-Chinese collaboration will positively contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative, given the Arab world's strategic location that connects East & West.

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