The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hainan recently signed bilateral agreements that seek to strengthen trade relations. Hainan is a major island province in the southernmost part of China.
In 2022, their bilateral non-oil trade surged to AED3.3 bn ($900 mn), which reflects a more-than-double increase from previous figures. This includes UAE exports to Hainan valued at AED2.4 bn, up by 98.2 percent. Meanwhile, imports rose by 110.6 percent to reach AED948 mn.
The deal is an important step for the UAE as Hainan is forecast to become the largest free-trade port in the world by 2035.
The UAE and Hainan formalized their bilateral agreements during the Hainan Promotion Conference in Dubai. Among the deals signed was a cooperation agreement between UAE International Trip Support and the Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development.
A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed by Ajlan & Bros Holding with Hainan Airlines Holding and the Yangpu Economic Development Zone Management Committee.
Meanwhile, the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones (DIEZ) and Hainan Airport Infrastructure have established a cooperation framework. In addition, Fusion Specialized Shipping and Logistics, Hainan GLA, and Hainan Logistics Group have inked a global strategic partnership.
“The agreements we have concluded reflect the growing synergies that exist between our thriving economies,” said UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Al Zeyoudi.
“Our shared belief in rules-based trade and the development of world-class logistics infrastructure will help accelerate our relationship,” he continued.
Liu Xiaoming, governor of Hainan province, said, “We wish to join hands with the UAE to promote high-quality development within the Belt and Road initiative.” He is also optimistic that the agreements will result in other collaborations, such as in finance and industrial projects.
These recently signed agreements signify a new development in the UAE-and-China relations. Earlier this month, Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, unveiled an office in the Chinese capital of Beijing to bolster investments in the country.
In late August, the UAE was one of the Middle Eastern countries to be invited to join the BRICS alliance. The bloc comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. In the same month, Dubai’s Emirates National Oil Company announced the establishment of a jet fuel network in China.
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