(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE and China are working out ways to expand cooperation in the fields of new energy resources, high-end technology and service trade, according to a top official of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Guangzhou Committee, China Chamber of the International Commerce Guangzhou Chamber of Commerce.
"Guangzhou is being represented in Dubai for the first time through the fourth edition of China Homelife show with 42 companies and aims to deepen trade ties with Dubai as it happens to be centre point for entire Mena region," council vice-president Sheliv told Khaleej Times.
"Guangzhou and Dubai have a lot of advantages and foundation in cooperation, especially since the two cities became international sister cities in 2012. Through joint efforts, we have enhanced friendly cooperation and have expanded prospects and space for cooperation."
"We expect deeper cooperation and exchange between the two cities. Guangzhou's economic and trade delegation is formed by 18 enterprises and their business scope covers furniture, home furnishings, electrical appliances, leather products and clothing, among others."
Bilateral trade between the UAE and China increased by almost 500 per cent from 3.12 billion in 2002 to 18.3 billion in 2012. From January to June this year, the volume of bilateral cargo trade hit 21.435 billion, growing 13.68 per cent year-on-year. China is the second-largest trade partner of UAE. The show was inaugurated on Tuesday by Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Cooperation, and joined by Tang Weibin, Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China; Zhang Yi, commercial counselor of the Economic and Commerce Department; and Zhang Xijin, chief representative of the CCPIT in the Gulf region, as they toured the exhibition halls to meet scores of manufacturers in Dubai to sign new contracts and deals.
In a statement sent to Khaleej Times, Hamad Buamim, president and chief executive officer of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "China is an important market for Dubai in terms of trade and tourist flows. Between 2011 and 2012, total non-oil trade between Dubai and China increased by 15 per cent from a value of Dh99 billion in 2011 to Dh115 billion in 2012."
"We anticipate strong trade values to continue this year. Given this, the Dubai Chamber is exploring the possibility of opening an overseas representative office there in the next three to five years. This office will help bring our members closer to the commercial opportunities that exist in China and help enhance ties with this important Asian partner. It will also help Chinese companies expand into the Middle East market, using Dubai as a base."
Weibin said: "Visitors to China Homelife Dubai, running until Thursday at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, will see more than 50,000 products on offer from more than 1,000 Chinese manufacturers, all of which are available for Middle East buyers to purchase for commercial trade. The exhibition has seen a 60 per cent increase in exhibitor numbers and a 150 per cent increase in exhibition space year on year." Gavil Fang, chief executive officer at MEOrient International, the organisers of the exhibition, said: "Now in its fourth year, China Homelife has become the most significant event of its kind to allow Chinese exporters in the textile industry reach key volume buyers in the Middle East. Industry analysts have projected the global fabrics and textile market to near 2 billion by 2015 and all signs indicate China will play an integral role in growing the sector. This is an important time to address how we can better engage with potential partners and customers in the Middle East."
In 2012, the value of trade between the UAE and China surpassed 35 billion for the first time, while 60 per cent of China's total trade passes through the UAE, before it is re-exported West to Africa and Europe. Potential buyers can expect a wide choice of offerings as floor space has grown to accommodate more than 1,000 exhibitors across a range of home products.