China’s Initiative for open economic corridors, called “Belt and Road”, is a Chinese expansion project aimed at changing the rules of the global economic system. According to estimates, the level of Chinese investment abroad under this project is expected to reach $ 120 to $ 130 billion a year over five years.

In order to promote world trade by restoring ancient trade routes between the three ancient continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. The Arab world is at the centre of this Chinese initiative, which has for hundreds of years maintained close trade relations with the Far East, whether by the silk route or by the sea.

Arab is part of the proposed corridors of the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor, connecting China, Central Asia, West Asia and the Arabian Peninsula, and follows the ancient Silk Road.

China ‘s leading trading partner in West Asia and North Africa, Saudi Arabia is a natural partner of China’ s Belt and Road Initiative, a major shareholder in China. Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, the financial arm of the project endowed with a capital of more than 50 billion dollars.

Chinese sources say the Chinese initiative is in line with advanced development conceptions by many Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia’s vision for 2030, the United Arab Emirates’ vision to revive the Silk Road and Kuwait Vision by 2035, the development of the Duqm Economic Zone in Oman and the Suez Canal Development Project in Egypt.

According to Foreign Policy magazine, China’s strategy is to facilitate China’s trade with 65 countries, which account for 60 percent of the world’s population.

Economic relations between China and the Gulf countries have changed considerably since last year and trade between China and the Gulf countries is expected to increase this year. With the continuation of the trade war between the United States and China, the Gulf countries have a great opportunity to benefit from mutual investment with China, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which is generating interest. growing on the part of Chinese investors and tourists.

Trade between Saudi Arabia and China reached $ 63.3 billion, up 26.7% from 2017.
China imported $ 48.594 billion worth of Saudi products in 2018, with oil accounting for about $ 29.6 billion, an increase of 44.48 percent over 2017, while China exported $ 17.44 billion. dollars of products in Saudi Arabia, according to data from Saudi newspapers.
Last year, the value of contracts between China and Saudi Arabia was about $ 6.7 billion, a jump of 129% from 2017.

Non-financial Chinese direct financing for projects in the Kingdom reached $ 370 million, an increase of 322.14% over 2017, while total direct funding reached $ 380 million.
The development of trade relations between China and the United Arab Emirates has also been observed as Chinese investors turn to the United Arab Emirates, especially when relations between the two countries are rooted and the Emirates are attracted by stability policy and lucrative returns from investments.

Non-oil trade between China and the United Arab Emirates has reached nearly $ 53 billion in 2017, a figure that is expected to increase, and non-oil trade with the UAE is expected to reach 70 billion by 2020.

Emaar is expanding its operations in China with the goal of opening offices in Shanghai and Beijing to showcase opportunities in Dubai as a destination for investment and focus on real estate opportunities, education and health.

The HSBC Survey found that 8 out of 10 UAE companies considered China as the main destination for exports and exports: half of these companies were dealing with Chinese companies and expected to increase their sales in the coming years, and 10% Emirati companies were considering entering this market.

China is expanding there: The Gulf countries are likely to encounter new obstacles, as China tries to unload its surplus production in many major sectors of the steel industry, cement, etc.

Editor’s note: The article reflects the author’s opinion only, and not necessarily the views of editorial opinion of Belt & Road News.