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Xi visit to UAE ‘great booster’




‘The Silk Road Initiative will improve commercial relations in the future between China and Abu Dhabi’

ABU DHABI — It is a much eagerly anticipated visit, said The Gulf Today, in its Wednesday editorial on the upcoming Chinese President’s state visit to the UAE.

“The arrival of President Xi Jinping of China in the UAE on Thursday will be a great booster economically and add considerable weightage to this country’s culture,” the Sharjah-based daily said.

“It should be noted that China is a global political and economic powerhouse, and you can’t tinker with that fact.

According to the BBC, China’s economy grew at an annual pace of 6.7 percent in the three months to June. In what may be termed a landmark move, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged US$20 billion in loans and $1.6 billion in financial aid to countries in the Middle East, as part of an ‘oil and gas plus’ model to revive economic growth in the region.

“Beijing has amped up involvement in the Middle East in recent years as Arab nations play an important role in Xi’s signature Belt and Road foreign policy plan for strong trade routes linking China with central and southeast Asia.

The Silk Road Initiative will improve commercial relations in the future between China and Abu Dhabi. The initiative includes the construction of roads, harbours, railways and industrial zones in 65 countries,” the English language daily continued.

The Gulf Today went on to say that foreign direct investments from China in the UAE hit $9.1 billion last year.
“The value of Abu Dhabi’s exports to China reached around AED4.2 billion in 2017. The burgeoning interest of Chinese companies and investors in Emirati markets is due to the UAE’s attractive business environment, which is reflected by the considerable presence of Chinese companies that operate in both Abu Dhabi and the UAE, especially through the country’s free zones. The UAE is the first country from the Middle East taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative, and received a mutual visa exemption for ordinary passports in 2017.”

“China has reportedly maintained a low-key role in the Middle East events, despite its reliance on the region for energy supplies. However, the Chinese leader sees development as an antidote for security woes plaguing the Middle East. China will offer aid worth 1 billion yuan ($150 million) to Palestine to support economic development, besides providing a further 600 million to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen,” the paper continued.

The daily concluded: “The coming period will witness the establishment of new partnerships between Emirati and Chinese companies in many key sectors, such as industry, manufacturing, finance, education, energy and agriculture and culture. The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Centre for Arabic Language and Islamic Studies is a cultural beacon in the People’s Republic of China, which is well known to knowledge seekers in Beijing. Let’s hope the relations between the two nations help realise their mutual goals.”

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