The Gulf Arab nations believe that China's Belt and Road Initiative is key to boost trade between the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa, said a senior trade official of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Abdullah Ahmed Al-Saleh, the undersecretary of foreign trade and industry department at the ministry of economy, UAE, made the remarks while addressing over 100 hundred officials, businessmen and decision makers from the UAE and China at a seminar in Dubai co-organized by Chinese embassy and the economy ministry.
The UAE can act as a hub for trade and logistics in the region and the gateway for products from China to the area, he said, adding that the initiative, which is proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, offers unprecedented opportunities to bolster trade among 60 countries from East Asia to the Middle East, Africa and Europe, as well as between the two sides.
According to the official, nearly 300,000 Chinese citizens now live and work in the UAE, while more than 4,000 Chinese firms are registered, 249 Chinese agencies and more than 5451 Chinese trade marks located in the Gulf Arab state.
Non-oil trade between the two reached $24.6 billion last year, making China the second largest trade partner of the country, he said.
"The UAE has the sixth largest port in the world. It's the fourth largest export hub in the world," said Al-Saleh, adding that his country is willing to provide for China all the facilities to promote the initiative to its full potential.