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Toward the Second Golden Age of China-Arab Relationship

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Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to join you at the China-Gulf Innovation Investment Conference. This theme in 2022 celebrates China-Arab partnership, urging us to shape an innovative and sustainable future. To this end, I am greatly honoured to address you all, and to have an opportunity to share with you news on the recent economic success enjoyed by the UAE and to draw attention to the various high-level cooperative efforts between the UAE and China.

Since time immemorial, the Arab world has shared a deep historical connection with China. This connection experienced a Golden Age during the 7th century, when the Tang Dynasty administered China, encouraging trade to flourish. These trade routes ultimately facilitated a great exchange of scientific knowledge in the fields of medicine, mathematics, astronomy, among others, between our two regions.

Today, this complementary and mutually beneficial trade relationship has been reestablished and has developed into what could be considered a second Golden Age in China-Arab relations, best exemplified by the partnership between the UAE and China.

Both the Emirati and Chinese economies have experienced a period of rapid, and roughly co-temporaneous, development. As a result, both countries have not only cultivated reputations for remarkable economic performance but have also undergone the profound societal transformation and diversification that such growth inevitably brings.

This similarity in experience has brought great dividends to the UAE-China bilateral relationship, establishing many parallels and commonalities in the challenges that both of our countries face across different sectors, such as in the investment and financial industries. But with great challenges also comes great opportunities, much of the economic growth we have both enjoyed have been enabled by growing sources of capital – fueling giant strides and advancements.

The UAE government and leading Emirati entities, including the Abu Dhabi Global Market and Dubai International Financial Center, in recognition of this opportunity, have adopted long-term strategies to liberalize the Emirati economy. The UAE warmly welcomes foreign capital as well as promising start-ups and tech companies, including Chinese enterprises, to invest and do business in the Emirates.

However, this focus on economic liberalization is only one part of the UAE’s transformation from a fossil-fuel-based economy to an innovative and knowledge-based economy. In just half year of 2022, the UAE non-oil foreign trade exceeded AED one trillion, a sum worth 60 percent of our national GDP in 2021. In addition to our financial sector, technology-driven industries including communication, education, renewable energy, aerospace, nuclear power, artificial intelligence, and automated cars, will increasingly become new points of growth in the Emirati economy that will attract further foreign investment.

Ladies and gentlemen, the UAE and China are among the most advanced countries in the world in the development of technology and innovation. Our respective peoples and markets have also greatly prospered from our close economic relationship. As the UAE’s Ambassador to China, I look forward to witnessing our countries reach new innovative, technological and economic heights together through our continued joint collaboration and coordination. Thank you.

H.E. Dr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri 1
Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri

Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the people’s Republic of China

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