UAE's Largest Free Trade Zone Supports China's Belt and Road Initiative
Pan Yinru
/SOURCE : Yicai
UAE's Largest Free Trade Zone Supports China's Belt and Road Initiative

(Yicai Global) July 19 -- China's President Xi Jinping will pay an anticipated official visit today to the United Arab Emirates on his tour in the region. The Middle Eastern country's largest free trade zone welcomes the first sojourn done by a Chinese head of state in 29 years.

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre has high expectations for Xi's visit to the country and intentions to vigorously support China's Belt and Road initiative, Gautam Sashittal, the chief executive officer of the DMCC told Yicai Global.

DMCC now has over 15,000 registered companies and over 300 of these are Chinese firms. The number has increased at a steady annual rate of 46 percent over the last five years, said Sashittal.

China's and the UAE's bilateral trade volume hit USD52 billion last year with a growth rate of 15 percent in comparison to that of the year before. Sashittal hopes the UAE-China Joint Investment Fund can explore broader areas for bilateral trade. Founded in 2015, the USD10 billion joint fund investments in energy, renewables, and technology.

China's Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou on Friday said this is Xi's first time to visit foreign countries after his re-election as the Chinese president in March. It is also part of China's major diplomatic move to target developing countries against the backdrop of profound changes in the international situation. 

China and the UAE are expected to sign cooperation agreements regarding production capacity, energy, agriculture, finance, customs and scientific research.

After the UAE visit, President Xi will continue his tour to the African countries of Senegal, Rwanda, and South Africa until July 24.

Editor: Emmi Laine

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Keywords: The United Arab Emirates , DMCC , Dubai , UAE , Xi Jinping , Official Visit , FTZ