Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has confirmed the UAE's role as a major player in China's Belt and Road global mega-project after announcing on Friday that deals worth $3.4 billion (Dh12.49bn have been agreed to by the two countries.
The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai said that China would invest $2.4bn to create a storage and shipping station in an area spanning 5.57 million square metres in Jebel Ali, Dubai, to export Chinese goods all over the world.
The Merchants' Market scheme will include large warehouses and wholesale retail outlets.
At the three-day Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Sheikh Mohammed said a further $1bn would be spent on setting up a major food project in Dubai, which would involve importing, processing and packaging agricultural, fishery and animal products for export to the world.
Sheikh Mohammed attended the signing ceremony for both projects with Chinese investment partners.
The Belt and Road initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping's signature policY, combines a land "economic belt" and a "maritime silk road" to link China with South-East, South and Central Asia, the Arabian Gulf, North Africa, then Europe.
The three-day forum is being attended by 37 leaders.
Sheikh Mohammed met Mr Xi on Thursday and reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to helping build the “next phase for the global economy”.
The UAE has played a leading role in the Belt and Road project, using its infrastructure to create a centre for trade to the region and as a gateway to Africa and the wider Middle East.
Sheikh Mohammed also met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to discuss investment opportunities from the initiative and development projects in culture, tourism, education and the economy.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, said the UAE's participation in the Belt and Road forum showed its "firm conviction that our economic and development success is based on communication, co-operation and the exchange of experiences".
"We carry a model of successful Arab experience and seek to develop and modernise it," Dr Gargash said in a tweet on Friday