The Trade volume between southwest China’s Sichuan Province and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) rose 20 percent year on year from January to August, according to local authorities.

The trade volume reached 3.32 billion yuan (467.9 million U.S. dollars), local authorities said at the 2019 China-UAE Economic Trade and Cultural Exchange Conference held in Sichuan’s capital city of Chengdu Thursday.

“I believe that Dubai will become the key place connecting Asia, Africa and Latin America in the Belt & Road Initiative”

said Ibrahim Ahli, Director of Dubai’s Investment Promotion Department

“The Belt & Road Initiative has brought me at least 1 billion dollars worth of business opportunities,” said Madhu Bhandari, the founder of Dubai based Consta Group.

“The Arab countries are at a critical stage of transformation and development. Deepening mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Arab countries is an inevitable choice for overcoming difficulties and seeking common development,” said Liu Hao, an official with China Development Bank.