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Thu 18 Jul 2019 02:17 PM

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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince to visit China amid $70bn trade hopes

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will begin a state visit to China next week

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince to visit China amid $70bn trade hopes
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan meets Chinese President Xi Jinping during a previous visit to China in 2015.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will begin a state visit to China next week.

During the visit, Sheikh Mohamed and Chinese President Xi Jinping will review the comprehensive strategic cooperation between the two countries across various sectors, in addition to regional and international issues of common concern, state news agency WAM reported on Thursday.

It added that Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed will be accompanied by a high-ranking delegation comprising a number of Sheikhs, ministers, and senior officials.

In April, the UAE and China said they are keen to expand economic collaboration with trade set to hit $70 billion next year.

The trade boost was announced during a meeting between Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

During Sheikh Mohammed's visit to Beijing, major deals were signed and investments including the launch of 60 million square feet station at the new Silk Road in Dubai for Expo 2020.

Chinese firm Yiwu will invest $2.4 billion to use the station for storing and transporting Chinese goods from Jebel Ali to the world.

Sheikh Mohammed also announced plans for a $1 billion "vegetable basket", funded by the China-Arab investment Fund which will import, process and pack agricultural products, marine and animal products and export them all over the world.

The two countries are working to boost collaboration in the business sector at a time when the number of Chinese tourists to the UAE is on the rise. Over 850,000 Chinese tourists visited the UAE in 2018.

The UAE also provides Chinese businesses a platform to access vast emerging markets surrounding it with a total population of over 2 billion. Over 4,000 Chinese companies have already based their regional headquarters in the UAE.

China is the UAE’s main trade partner with non-oil trade between the two countries exceeding $53.3 billion in 2017. The UAE accounted for 30 percent of Chinese exports to Arab countries, and 22 percent of the Sino-Arab trade in 2017.

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