Strategic partnership between Dubai Economic Council and China Economic and Social Council

_: CESC was established on July 2, 2001. It is a national social organization whose members are experts and scholars in both economic and social fields as well as organizers and administrators of various homogeneous institutions. The aims of CESC are to unite various economic and social circles, implement the Scientific Outlook on Development, and play the role of a researcher, consultant and service provider in a bid to promote economic and social development and build a harmonious society.

The partnerships’ strategic objectives include the establishment of guidelines to support the foundation for cooperation between the two parties via exchange of statistical data, studies and experiences, as well as to unify their efforts and resources in these areas in the framework of the tasks entrusted to each.

The economic ties between the UAE and China continue to grow and diversify with the aviation and tourism industries recently benefiting from their partnership. The volume of trade between the UAE and China accounted to 15.6 billion dollars in 2011 which forms about 6% of UAEs international trade. UAE imports from China accounted to 15 billion dollars in 2011 whereas UAE exports to China were placed at 284 million dollars.

Al Hamli added “this momentum in economic relations between the UAE and China suggests a need to further consolidate the relationship from mutual cooperation’ to strategic partnership’. He also pointed out that such a partnership would be based on several factors such as shared interests, a common vision of their leaderships, and potential opportunities in investment in areas such as technology transfer, industrial investment and energy. It is also important to give special attention to SMEs with a view to increase their activities and profits, thus increase employment rates.

Al Hamli said that UAE is a major trade partner for China in the region (excluding oil), as well as the most attractive to Chinese businesses. In this vein, we are confident that forging a more strategic alliance is the subsequent phase between the two countries in the foreseeable future. In terms of its vision to be the strategic partner for the government of Dubai in economic decision-making, the DEC has focused on developing and strengthening its economic relations with China. The first step taken by the Council in this direction were the official visits of the Council’s Secretariat General to China where strategic partnerships have been established with various Chinese economic-decisions making institutions covering areas of common interest.

The DEC Secretary-general stated that there are a number of factors that could enhance the strategic partnership project between the UAE and China, among others: activate the role of business community, explore new channels of economic and investment channels. In this vein, we are confident that this event is a next step forward.

On the sidelines of the MOU sign ceremony, Hani Al Hamli highlighted the milestone of the UAE economy and how it emerges as a successful story in development domain. He said that the overall performance of the UAE economy is not resultant due to the growth of the hydrocarbon sector, but due to income diversification strategy to reduce reliance on oil for the favor of non-oil sectors, such as finance, logistics, tourism, trade and industrial sectors. In this context, statistics unveiled that the contribution of oil in the UAE GDP has been dropped from 70% in 1971 into 29% in 2011. This distinguished progress also reflects the concrete foundations of the UAE economy in addition to the sound policies that led to continuous growth in all sectors particularly those with high added value. Dubai accounts for about 28% of the national economy. The emirate is a regional and global hub in business and finance.

Speaking about Dubai, Al Hamli said that the emirate has also restructured its economy away from oil to services, logistics and re-exports. Statistics show that GDP increased about 6% per annum between 1975-1990, and about 9% per annum during the past fifteen years. Thus, Dubai has becomes a model’ for several countries. In 2011, GDP growth rate was at 3.9%. According to Dubai Economic Council estimates, the emirate could record 5% in 2012 due to significant performance of fundamental sectors namely: tourism, trade and logistics. In this context, foreign trade emerges as one of the most important contributor in GDP. The ratio of foreign trade out of GDP is 250%. This high ratio reflects the resilient location of Dubai as a center of re-export in the region and the world. All these achievements could not have been perceived without the strategic vision that copes with the reality, mobilizing domestic resources and potentials, and looking forward to enhancing economic performance regionally and globally. This is the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. This vision has also been embodied in Dubai Strategic Plan 2015 which is considered the road map of Dubai towards the future.

Al Hamli also said that developments in the free zones and in most parts of the country, along with advances in logistics operations, including handling, transport storage have contributed significantly to the growth of re-export trade and now make up the majority of the total foreign trade of the country. He stated that the re-export trade to China had reached about $395 million during the year 2011, much more than the value of what was released from the state to China in that year, stressing that this development had a positive impact on the macroeconomic level.

In terms of export the value of trade, it has doubled from 211 million dirhams in 2003 to 414 million dirhams in 2007. Exports to China are expected to reach Dhs481 million in 2011.

The re-export trade has seen significant growth over the past couple of years, which jumped from Dhs 175 million in 2003 to Dhs 622 million in 2007. In 2010 trade reached a billion dirhams. Re-exports from Dubai to China are expected to reach Dhs1.2 billion last year.

Imports have increased from 13 billion dirhams in 2003 to 41 billion dirhams in 2007. China has maintained its position as a major supplier despite the global economic crisis. Dubai imports from China in 2009 were 42 billion dirhams, and it increased to 45 billion dirhams in 2010. In the year 2011 it is estimated that imports have amounted to 48 billion dirhams.

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