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China-UAE bilateral trade rises 38.1% in Q1-Q3 2021, despite pandemic: Chinese envoy

By Binsal Abdulkader

ABU DHABI, 9th December 2021 (WAM) — The China-UAE bilateral trade has overcome the negative impacts of the global pandemic for almost two consecutive years, a top Chinese diplomat told Emirates News Agency (WAM).

The bilateral trade during the first nine months of 2021 has exceeded the value of US$49 billion, a 38.1 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year, revealed Ni Jian, Chinese Ambassador to the UAE.

The trend was almost the same during the first three quarters of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, he said in an exclusive interview at his residence in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

"This demonstrates the resilience and vitality of the bilateral economic and trade cooperation. The UAE remains China's largest export market and the second largest trading partner in the Arab region. With the interlocking of development strategies of the two countries, I believe that the prospects for China-UAE economic and trade cooperation will be broader," Jian affirmed.

UAE – largest investment destination in Arab world

"The UAE is the largest investment destination of China in the Arab world. In 2020, Chinese non-financial direct investment flows to the UAE in 2020 was valued at US$570 million, accounting for more than 47 percent of the total Chinese investment in the Arab world," the envoy added.

However the value of stock of Chinese direct investments was not readily available with him.

More than 6,000 Chinese firms have developed business in the UAE, involving energy, ports, infrastructure, communications, finance, and other sectors, he said. "The two countries have great potential and broad prospects for cooperation in the fields of new energy, high and new technology, green economy, and digital economy," the ambassador asserted.

Cooperation against COVID

"China-UAE vaccine cooperation has always been at the forefront of the world," Jian stressed.

Life sciences and vaccine manufacturing project is progressing smoothly and becoming a new platform of practical cooperation between the two countries, he said, referring to the joint project established between the UAE’s Group 42 and China National Pharmaceutical Group, under an agreement signed during the visit of Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the UAE in March this year.

The ambassador said he recently visited the vaccine factory jointly established by the two countries in the Khalifa Industrial Zone in Abu Dhabi. "I was very much impressed to see the construction in full swing and the factory buildings springing up. It is believed that in the near future the two countries will achieve more results of cooperation."

The envoy, who has been serving in the UAE for more than five years, has felt the global pandemic has been the most serious challenge during his tenure here. "However, it has opened opportunities as well for both countries."

Although he has been a diplomat in the Middle East for some time, the UAE offered him a completely different experience.

"This country's very unique with a policy of openness and tolerance, and hosting people of all different religions and nationalities to stay here to have a better life, for the past 50 years."

Robust political relations

The ambassador said the high-level exchanges between the two countries are the most important thing in China-UAE political relations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, had successful mutual state visits [in 2018 and 2019 respectively] reached a number of important consensus and made it clear that developing China-UAE relations is a "fundamental task crucial for generations to come." They promoted the bilateral relations to the best-ever in history, the envoy emphasised.

Guided by the important consensus of Chinese and UAE leaders, both countries have deepened the political and strategic mutual trust, supported each other on issues related to each other's core interests and major concerns, and cooperated closely on multilateral forums, reflecting the high level of China-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership, Jian stressed.

142 UAE public schools to offer Chinese courses

Educational, cultural, and people-to-people ties have also witnessed huge progress. "Chinese language teaching in the UAE has achieved remarkable results. It is expected that 142 UAE public schools will offer Chinese courses within this year," he said.

The UAE had announced introducing the Chinese language in the education curricula in August 2019 following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed during the state visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to China in July 2019.

Four historic events to enhance cooperation

"Our two beautiful countries are celebrating two historic occasions this year," the ambassador pointed out.

China is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party and the UAE the 50th anniversary of its founding. "So, this is a beautiful coincidence."

The third important event is Expo 2020, he pointed out. "Then we will have Winter Olympics in Beijing next year. Through these events, two countries can have better cooperation in all fields, which will enable both peoples to enjoy a better life."

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Hamriyah and Deira ports record AED 12.133b in customs declaration value for first nine months of 2023

Dubai Customs plays a crucial role as the frontline defense for community security, consistently advancing its customs centers to safeguard and facilitate maritime trade. H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of
Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, recently visited Creek Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center to evaluate progress and oversee ongoing efforts for continuous customs service development. During this visit, several executive directors, department heads, and customs center managers were present.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, accompanied by Rashid Al Dhabah Al Suwaidi, Acting Director of Seae Customs Centers Management, conducted inspections at Khor Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center. Managers Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al Salman and Majid Salem Al Tawilah provided insights into workflow progress and accomplishments. Over the first nine months of this year, 62,454 customs declarations were processed, totaling AED 12.133 billion, with 19 seizures recorded during the same period. A visit to Hamriyah Port Customs Center showcased an advanced container X-ray inspection device, supporting increased inspection operations.

Subsequently, visits to Khor Customs Center and Deira Port highlighted achievements, including a notable seizure called the “Wheelhouse,” which successfully prevented an attempt to smuggle 243 kilograms of narcotics into the country. Commending customs employees, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih emphasized the pivotal role of maritime customs centers in ensuring community security and facilitating trade. The department collaborates for efficient goods clearance and acknowledges employee efforts
during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the department’s support for global efforts to revive maritime navigation and international trade.

Musabih clarified that the department’s advanced capabilities in monitoring and inspection enable it to keep pace with the UAE’s rapid foreign trade growth. Supporting Dubai’s economic agenda D33, the department aims to double foreign trade and enhance economic partnerships with key global markets. Efforts to boost customs inspector efficiency continue through training courses, ensuring their ability to thwart smuggling attempts. Continuous development of X-ray scanning
devices and the K9 customs dog unit further enhances contraband control achievements. Rasheed Al-Dabah explained that the forthcoming period will witness the advancement of new initiatives and mechanisms in the realm of inspection and examination. These initiatives are grounded in a forward-looking perspective to introduce cutting-edge technologies utilized in examining maritime transport vessels, wooden ships, and ships engaged in fish trade.

He remarked, “Our endeavors are harmonized to enhance performance in sea customs centers, concurrently focusing on bolstering monitoring, tracking, and technical support activities to yield optimal outcomes through continuous and productive collaboration among all specialized teams within the department. The Customs centers in Deira, Al Khor, and
Hamriyah Port Customs Center shoulder their vital responsibilities in safeguarding society and facilitating maritime trade through Dubai Creek and Hamriyah Port, supporting the ongoing growth of the national economy.”

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Dubai Customs Hosts Sharjah Housing Delegation to Strengthen Government Communication Ties

Dubai Customs, represented by the Corporate Communication Department, warmly welcomed a delegation from the Sharjah Housing Department. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize the delegation with the duties and responsibilities of the
Corporate Communication Department and its affiliated divisions. The delegation also aimed to explore the awards received by the department, notably the recognition as the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award for 2023.

Khalil Saqer bin Gharib, Director of Corporate Communication Department, along with department managers, extended a cordial reception to the Sharjah Housing delegation, which included Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication, Nada Sivan, Head of the Public Relations and Events Department, and Hamad Saleh Al Hamadi, Head of
the New Media Department. Bin Gharib highlighted the department’s commitment to strengthening communication with government entities to exchange practical experiences and knowledge. The delegation was briefed on Dubai Customs exceptional performance in customs operations and other facets.

The meeting delved into discussions on potential avenues for collaboration, with the Sharjah Housing delegation. Emphasis was placed on the crucial role played by Dubai Customs’ Corporate Communication Department, customs administrations, and centers in ensuring security and safeguarding society. The delegation was presented with an overview of the department’s working mechanisms, awareness campaigns, events, and activities conducted internally and externally, aligning with Dubai Customs esteemed reputation.

Furthermore, the Sharjah Housing delegation acquired an understanding of the best media practices adopted by the Corporate Communication Department, showcasing its outstanding performance in enhancing knowledge and media dissemination to all partners. This has resulted in the department establishing and fortifying relationships with local and international media
entities. The presentation also encompassed the factors contributing to the department’s receipt of the award for the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award.

Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication at Sharjah Housing, expressed appreciation for the efforts of Dubai Customs Corporate Communication Department, acknowledging its excellence and significant contribution to enhancing the department’s standing. Dr. Al Nuaimi affirmed Sharjah Housing’s commitment to fostering ongoing visits and meetings with Dubai Customs, aiming to achieve the highest level of coordination and benefit from the Corporate Communication Departmen’s experience in securing numerous local and international awards.

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Zayed Sustainability Prize opens submissions for 2025 cycle

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability and humanitarian award, has officially announced that the 2025 cycle is now open for submissions.  Submissions will be accepted until 23 June 2024 through the Prize’s online portal. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs), nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and high schools with sustainable solutions are invited to submit an entry for consideration in one of the six categories of Heath, Food, Energy, Water, Climate Action and Global High Schools. Commenting on the launch of the 2025 submissions cycle, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, and COP28 President, said: “Since 2008, the
Zayed Sustainability Prize has honoured the legacy of Sheikh Zayed by fostering inclusive sustainable and humanitarian development around the world. In this decisive decade for climate change, these values are more important than ever. I am optimistic that the Prize will contribute to global climate action in line with the UAE Consensus, which will pave the
way toward an effective response to the Global Stocktake decision.” In response to the pressing climate crisis, and to further support the UAE’s efforts to accelerate practical solutions needed to drive climate action and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, the Prize has increased its funds from US $3.6 million to US $5.9 million. The Prize will reward US $1 million to each winner in the organisational categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action. Within the Global High Schools category, which is split into six world regions, each school can claim up to US $150,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub- Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific. The most recent Zayed Sustainability Prize winners were recognised at an Awards Ceremony held during COP28 UAE. To encourage a broader range of organisations and high schools to participate, the Prize will be accepting submissions in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. This will ensure that innovative solutions from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be recognised. For the Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action categories, organisations should prove that they are improving access to essential products or services in their targeted communities and are able to implement a long-term vision for better living and working conditions. For the Global High Schools category, projects should be led by students, and must demonstrate innovative approaches to address sustainability challenges. The evaluation of each submission to the Prize consists of a rigorous, three-stage process. First, due diligence is conducted on all submissions to ensure that they meet the Prize’s evaluation criteria of Impact, Innovation, and Inspiration. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of eligible candidates. Following this, evaluations are undertaken by a Selection Committee consisting of category-specific panels of independent international experts. From this shortlist of candidates, the finalists are chosen and then sent to the Prize Jury who unanimously elect the winners across all six categories.   Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at an Awards Ceremony during the 2025 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

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