The UAE has signed agreements with Hainan province in China in four key sectors, further strengthening trade co-operation between the two countries.
The deals signed in technology, logistics, services and free zones will boost the rapidly expanding trade and investment ties between the UAE and the Chinese province, the Ministry of Economy said in a statement on Friday.
Bilateral non-oil trade between the UAE and Hainan reached $900 million in 2022, according to the ministry.
“Bilateral trade and investment flows between the UAE and Hainan continue to not only deepen but also diversify. The agreements we have concluded, reflect the growing synergies that exist between our two thriving economies," Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said at the Hainan Promotion Conference in Dubai.
"Our shared belief in rules-based trade and the ongoing development of world-class logistics infrastructure provide the ideal platform to accelerate our trading relationship and secure vital East-West supply chains.”
China is the UAE's top global trade partner with the value of non-oil trade between the two countries having exceeded Dh264.2 billion ($72 billion) in 2022, according to official data. The two countries expect bilateral trade to hit $200 billion by 2030.
China is also the third largest foreign investor in the UAE, with a foreign direct investment balance of Dh34 billion in 2021.
The latest agreements between the UAE and Hainan province include an initial pact between Ajlan and Bros, Hainan Airlines and Yangpu Economic Development Zone Management Committee; a co-operation framework agreement between Dubai Integrated Economic Zones and Hainan Airport Infrastructure; a global strategic partnership between Fusion Specialised Shipping and Logistics, Hainan GLA and Hainan Logistics Group; and a strategic co-operation agreement between UAS International Trip Support and Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development.
The UAE’s exports to Hainan passed $653 million in 2022, representing a 98.2 per cent growth. Imports, meanwhile, climbed 110.6 per cent to $258 million, the ministry statement said.
“We wish to join hands with our UAE partners to promote high-quality development while engaging in the Belt and Road initiative. I believe that together will accomplish fruitful outcomes in areas such as free zones, connectivity, finance, trade and other industrial co-operation,” said Liu Xiaoming, governor of Hainan province.
At the conference, Dr Al Zeyoudi invited investors from Hainan to take advantage of the UAE’s dynamic business ecosystem, including its "offering of 100 per cent foreign ownership, light-touch regulation and fast-track set-up processes".
He also promoted the country’s unrivalled access to global markets, several of which have been enhanced by the UAE’s Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement programme.