UAE Joins 110 countries in China’s Historic ‘Belt and Road Forum For International Cooperation’

BEIJING — The UAE joined today more than 110 country delegations to participate in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, hosted by the Chinese Government in Beijing.

The move is part of efforts to accelerate progress on the Belt and Road initiative, which aims to enhance cooperation and develop the economies along the Old Silk Road.

The Belt and Road Forum represents the first major international conference on the Belt and Road strategy, since President Xi Jinping announced his ground-breaking strategy, in 2013, to transform Asia’s developing economies, better connect them to each other and strengthen their trading links with the rest of the world.

The Belt and Road strategy seeks to align policies and attract investment in major infrastructure, energy and transportation projects, and has the potential to be a significant catalyst of stability, peace, prosperity and economic growth.

Attending the Forum, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and CEO of the ADNOC Group, said, “The United Arab Emirates strongly supports the Belt and Road initiative, which will foster economic growth and stability, both regionally and globally, by encouraging positive cooperation, alignment and true partnership.”

“If we are going to accelerate progress on the Belt and Road initiative, now is the time to align and unite our thinking, forge closer partnerships and build stronger bridges between the economies within this region and the rest of the world. Better coordination on the three core sectors of energy, infrastructure and transportation, will have a positive impact that goes far beyond this region. Success of the Belt and Road initiative will also strengthen ties, foster stability and encourage cooperation on a variety of issues of common interest,” he added.

As one of the world’s largest providers of energy, the UAE, under the guidance of its leadership, is keen to ensure that the Belt and Road region enjoys security of supply. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (ADNOC) recent concession agreements with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and China Energy (CEFC) are clear demonstrations of this commitment.

There has also been substantial cooperation between China and the UAE on improving the transportation connectivity between the Belt and road region, and other trading blocs. Building on the UAE’s ideal location as a natural logistical hub at the pivot point between Asia, Europe and Africa, Abu Dhabi Ports Company last year announced a partnership with China’s shipping giant, COSCO to double Khalifa port’s handling capacity.

In the four years since OBOR was officially launched, China has directly invested over $50 billion and created the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank – a multilateral institution designed to finance vital public works throughout Asia’s emerging economies.

China and the UAE have adopted a similar approach to economic development. Both countries share the same core beliefs in the essential connection between trade, partnership, peace and prosperity. These beliefs go beyond stated principles to concrete actions, best expressed by the strength of bilateral trade, which has grown dramatically – almost 800 fold in the three decades since establishing formal relations – from $63 million, in 1984, to over $50 billion per annum, in 2016.

Since the visit to China of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in December 2015, UAE – China relations have continued to flourish.

The 65 countries of the Belt and Road region represent 30 per cent of global GDP. By 2040, they will account for almost two thirds, thereby becoming the world’s most significant driver of economic growth.

“Making the right investments now will ensure this growth remains sustainable and globally diversified. In short, the success of Belt and Road can provide the foundation for a more secure, prosperous and progressive future for the world throughout the rest of this century and beyond,” Dr. Al Jaber said.

Source: Emirates News Agency