BUSINESS Dubai becomes transshipment point as China-Mideast trade flourishes


Dubai becomes transshipment point as China-Mideast trade flourishes

Global Times

05:13, June 25, 2019


A view of Dubai airport. (Photo: IC)

China's rising trade with the Middle East is boosting investment, such as logistics construction, in Dubai, which is becoming a transshipment station in the region. 

Some Dubai-based companies are anticipating that the forthcoming Expo 2020 to be held in Dubai will be a chance to boost trade between China and UAE, particularly trade of small commodities. 

In the first five months of this year, China's US dollar-denominated exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) rose by 12.9 percent on a yearly basis, while imports from the UAE rose by 10 percent, customs data showed. Overall, China's trade with the UAE rose by 11.9 percent in the period. 

In comparison, China's trade with the US slumped by 14.5 percent year-on-year in the first five months of this year, while trade with Europe rose by 3.9 percent on a yearly basis, customs data showed. 

Michael Qu, cargo manager for China at Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Dubai-based airline Emirates, told the Global Times on Monday there's been a change in shipping patterns for his company in the past 10 years. 

"The percentage of freight transportation between China and Europe in our total has dropped, while freight between China and emerging markets like the Middle East and Africa has risen significantly. I think this reflects that China pushing for trade with those areas did pay off," he said. 

Khalid Al Boom, deputy CEO of the Dubai Investment Development Agencies, told the Global Times on Monday that e-commerce is one of the major areas drawing Chinese investment in Dubai, along with the real estate and healthcare sectors. 

Expanding trade between China and the Middle East also leads to investment opportunities in Dubai, which is relatively developed. A sophisticated logistics system is one such area, Dubai government officials said.

For example, a storage and transport depot will be built in Jebel Ali in Dubai including large logistics warehouses and wholesale and retail outlets. The aim is to export Chinese goods worldwide via Dubai, UAE Consul General to Shanghai H.E. Rashed Al Qemzi wrote in a note he sent to the Global Times. 

He also mentioned that Emirates Airline SkyCargo signed a memorandum of understanding with Alibaba's Cainiao Smart Logistics Network last year to facilitate the delivery of cross-border parcels.

Qu also said that he anticipates that trade between China and Dubai will flourish further with the upcoming Expo 2020 to be held in Dubai, which will lift the business of Emirates SkyCargo.

"At such a large event, a lot of goods like small commodities will be shipped from China to Dubai," he said, adding that Middle East-based clients are already major buyers of China's small commodities from places like Yiwu.

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