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UAE boosts trade ties with China’s Hainan province

The relationship between Hainan and the UAE resulted in bilateral non-oil trade more than doubling in 2022 to $900m Wam
The relationship between Hainan and the UAE resulted in bilateral non-oil trade more than doubling in 2022 to $900m

The UAE and China’s Hainan province have signed four major private sector agreements to boost bilateral trade and investment ties.

The agreements include a memorandum of understanding between Ajlan & Bros Holding, Hainan Airlines Holding and Yangpu Economic Development Zone Management Committee and a cooperation framework agreement between Dubai Integrated Economic Zones and Hainan Airport Infrastructure Co Ltd.

The other deals were signed between Fusion Specialised Shipping and Logistics LLC, Hainan GLA and Hainan Logistics Group, as well as UAS International Trip Support and Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development. 

UAE minister of state for foreign trade Thani Al Zeyoudi highlighted the growing relationship between Hainan and the UAE, which resulted in bilateral non-oil trade more than doubling in 2022 to $900 million.

The UAE’s exports to Hainan surpassed $653 million in 2022, surging 98.2 percent year on year. Imports, meanwhile, climbed 110.6 percent year on year to $258 million.

“Bilateral trade and investment flows between the UAE and Hainan province continue to not only deepen but also diversify,” Al Zeyoudi said, adding the ongoing development of logistics infrastructure provides a platform to accelerate the trading relationship and secure vital East-West supply chains.

Liu Xiaoming, governor of Hainan province, called for promoting high-quality development with its UAE partners as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) framework in areas such as free zones, connectivity, finance, trade and other industrial cooperation.

The BRI was launched by Chinese president Xi Jinping in October 2013 as a global infrastructure development strategy to invest in more than 150 countries and international organisations across Asia, Africa and Latin America. 

By the end of this decade, less than 40 years after China and the UAE established diplomatic relations, trade between the two countries is expected to reach $200 billion, with accelerated growth being driven by the BRI.

Earlier this month, Mubadala Investment Company, the second-biggest state fund in Abu Dhabi, officially opened an office in Beijing.

The move marks a significant development in the growing economic relations between the UAE and the world’s second-largest economy.

Bilateral trade between the two countries during the first quarter of 2022 was $15.5 billion.

Last month, four Middle Eastern nations were admitted into the Brics bloc of developing countries – made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – bridging regional political divides and signalling increased Chinese influence around the world.

The decision to add another six members – Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE and Egypt, as well as Argentina and Ethiopia – was described as a political victory for China in its bid to bolster the “Global South” against perceptions of US domination.