China's 'Belt and Road' initiatives to strengthen Dubai's role in Mideast (China Daily)

DUBAI – The China-proposed “Belt and Road” initiatives will reinforce Dubai’s role as trade and logistics hub in the region, a senior economic official said on Sunday.
Hani R. Al-Hamli, the secretary general of the Dubai Economic Cou…

DUBAI – The China-proposed “Belt and Road” initiatives will reinforce Dubai’s role as trade and logistics hub in the region, a senior economic official said on Sunday.

Hani R. Al-Hamli, the secretary general of the Dubai Economic Council, said in an interview with Xinhua that Dubai, with the most open economy in the Gulf region, is aware of how much it could benefit from being a node on the new Silk Road.

The Silk Road Economic Belt, together with the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, commonly known as the “Belt and Road” initiatives, were proposed by China in 2013.

The initiatives bring together countries in Asia, Europe and even Africa via overland and maritime networks, with the purpose of boosting infrastructure building, financial cooperation and cultural exchanges in those regions.

Al-Hamli said Dubai is one of the most growing cities in the region and considered a trade and logistic hub for China because of its geographic location as center of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

He made the remarks ahead of the China-Arab States Expo to be held in Yinchuan, capital city of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwest China, during September 10-13.

Al-Hamli said Dubai will try to deepen the economic relation with China through the event.

“This expo will become an essential platform for high-level dialogue, policy communication, economic and trade cooperation between China and the Arab states,” he said.

Dubai, home of the biggest airport and commercial maritime port in the Middle East, is considered the business center of the United Arab Emirates.

In 2014, China surpassed India as the UAE’s biggest trading partner.