By Andy Sambidge
UAE's foreign trade minister says trade will witness 'major leap' in coming years
Trade between Arab states and China will witness major leap in the coming years as a result of the increasing economic, investment and commercial cooperation between the two sides, UAE minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi has said.
"We are confident of our ability to achieve our common aspirations for increasing the volume of trade exchange to reach $300bn during the next two years," she said addressing the 3rd China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum.
Bilateral trade relations between Arab countries and China has made a quantum leap during the past few years, she said, offering promising opportunities to further promote joint investment and economic cooperation.
The Arab world now ranks seventh in the list of major trading partners of China, she added.
In June, Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi said that the world’s second largest economy was looking to grow trade with Arab nations by 50 percent by 2014, or $300bn across the entire Arab world.
On Monday, figures released by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Trade said trade between the UAE and China grew 10 percent to $15.6bn during 2011.
The government department said that China maintained its status as the UAE’s second largest trade partner, with main imports being electronic appliances and devices, as well as iron and steel.
Key exports to China included plastics and their products, copper and its products and iron and iron-based products.
In 2002, foreign trade between the two countries stood at just $3.1bn.
Emirates NBD, one of the Middle East's biggest banks, said on Tuesday it had opened its first office in China as part of its international expansion plan.For all the latest industry news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.