UAE-China Trade Ties Strengthened at 10th CCFS

Taking place on 5-8 December 2011, the 10th Chinese Commodities Fair Sharjah aims to strengthen trading ties between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Peoples’ Republic of China. With non-oil trade between the UAE and China amounting to US$12.5 billion in 2010, being an increase of nine percent over the previous year, it is expected that the increase of 2011 over 2010 will exceed that figure. Recent data has revealed that bilateral trade for the first quarter of 2011 had already grown by 9.5 percent compared with the first quarter of 2010. Products and services included in the statistics are financial services, tourism, halal food products, energy and construction. Bilateral trade to be developed between the two parties includes the gas and water industries, as well as various manufacturing sectors.

As the gateway to the Middle East, the UAE is one of China’s largest export markets, and the annual Chinese Commodities Fair Sharjah (CCFS) has proven to be a convenient platform for forging new business relationships, while strengthening existing ties. Located in the center of the United Arab Emirates, with the vibrant business center of Dubai being a mere fifteen kilometers away, Sharjah has long been a trading hub for the area and has the most modern port and air cargo network.

In an interview following the opening of the CCFS, Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Jiang Yaoping noted that the volume of trade between China and the UAE is anticipated to reach record figures for 2011. Although bilateral trade was considered to be good during the last year, it was to be expected that the global economic crisis would impact on both China and the UAE. However, Yaoping expressed his confidence that trade volumes would pick up, and that the complementary relationship between the two countries opened up opportunities for growth. The “fly in the ointment” so to speak, is the question of whether Chinese exports will remain an attractive option once the Chinese government allows the yuan/dollar exchange rate to increase as it is being called on to do by some of its most lucrative trade partners, particularly the United States.

Under the theme of “Chinese Cities” the four-day Chinese Commodities Fair Sharjah will be attended by around 80 enterprises from fifteen different Chinese cities. In addition to exhibiting local products, the representatives from China will also be promoting culture tourism and investment opportunities to their visitors from around the United Arab Emirates.