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Dubai signs cooperation agreement with Shenzhen City


His Excellency Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai, reaffirmed the historic and long-standing relationship between the UAE and the People's Republic of China, during his recent visit to Shenzhen City.

This came during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Al Basti and Shenzhen City, China, which was represented by Chen Rugui, Mayor of Shenzhen City.

Al Basti also underlined the importance of strengthening these relations, aligned with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, to adopt international best practices, promote the exchange of expertise with the world's leading cities and build cultural, economic and trade relations.

The signing was also attended by H.E Ahmed Saeed bin Meshar Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the Dubai Supreme Legislation Committee; H.E Rahma bin Abdul Rahman Al Shamsi, UAE Consul-General in Guangzhou, China; Mr. Ai Xuefeng, Vice Mayor of Shenzhen City; Mr. Li Tingzhong, Secretary-General of Shenzhen; as well as a group of Shenzhen’s senior officials and members of the UAE delegation.

Al Basti said: “China is internationally reputed in the fields of advanced technology, trade and financial and logistics services. Dubai too, has taken significant strides in developing all relevant sectors as part of our efforts to drive development and shape the future. Dubai also serves as a strategic hub linking China with the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

“This joint-cooperation will play a pivotal role in advancing relations between Dubai and Shenzhen, while contributing to the creation of an effective mechanism for developing trade, cultural and economic relations. In addition, the memorandum highlights our common desire to expand cooperation at all levels to include financial services, Information and Communication Technology, tourism, manufacturing, transport and logistics.”

According to the MoU, the two cities will cooperate to achieve prosperity and development in various fields including logistics, infrastructure, public services, science and technology, trade, manufacturing, clean energy, investment, transport, tourism, aviation, finance, culture, free zones, special economic zones and other areas of common interest.

Al Basti continued: “The recent visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UAE helped boost trade, economic, cultural and scientific cooperation between our countries, and paved the way for a new stage of cooperation towards a better future. Our strategic partnership highlights the UAE as China’s leading partner in the region. Moreover, Expo 2020 Dubai will serve as an ideal platform for China to showcase its technological innovations and institutional expertise, along with its history and culture, demonstrating its eagerness to build international partnerships.

“Our bilateral relations with China are built on solid foundations, and these visits underpin our determination to further share experiences, build partnerships and strengthen relations between our nations. Our new cooperation with Shenzhen also underlines our common goals as international hubs for business and innovation. We are looking forward to further strengthen our ties with this vibrant city, as this agreement will undoubtedly help us unveil new horizons of cooperation.”

The agreement also gives priority to cooperation on developing port and container handling logistics services. It also prioritises cooperation in financial fields, including banking services, training initiatives, innovation in services and technology, cooperation in starting financial institutions, the listing of leading companies in the financial markets, and facilitate and support business development in both cities.

A high-level delegation from the Executive Council of Dubai visited Shenzhen to discuss expanding the cooperation between the two cities. The delegation also visited Shenzhen's leading technology companies such as the Royole, which manufactures flexible displays for electronic devices.

The past few years have seen a rapid growth in the UAE-China economic relations, with an annual trade volume exceeding USD 50 billion. Accounting for 23% of the Arab trade volume with China, the UAE is also China’s largest partner in the Arab region, cradling over 4,000 registered Chinese companies and 200,000 Chinese residents. The number of Chinese tourists to the UAE increased by 26% year-on-year in 2016 to reach 880,000. According to China's Foreign Trade Centre, the volume of trade between the UAE and China is likely to grow by USD 70 billion in the next two years.