Sheikh Abdullah and Al Midfa at the Chinese commodities fair organised by Expo Centre Sharjah

Sheikh Abdullah and Al Midfa at the Chinese commodities fair organised by Expo Centre Sharjah

China fair underlines trade links

01 January 2014

THE 12th Chinese Commodities Fair Sharjah (CCFS), organised by Expo Centre Sharjah, opened within a backdrop of an impending Sino-GCC free trade agreement that will greatly expand trade between the two sides.

The event, opened by HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qassimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, got billing as the largest Chinese trade fair in the Middle East. 

“UAE-China trade is on a strong footing, with bilateral trade registering double-digit growth so far this year. I am sure the economic reforms announced by China and the mega infrastructure projects being undertaken in the UAE and the rest of the region will further boost these trade exchanges,” said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah

“The FTA with the GCC will work both ways. While it will ensure crude oil supplies for China, it will also encourage GCC investors to set up shop in China and take advantage of the growth momentum in that country,” added Al Midfa. Petrochemical enterprises in the GCC area have a ready market in China, where they could promote industry efficiency and reduce energy prices,” he added.

The proposed FTA will also help Chinese enterprises further explore the Middle East market, which has strong demand for Chinese goods such as electronics, home appliances, vehicles, building materials, machinery, industrial products, toys and agriculture products and fertilisers.

“For over a decade, the Chinese Commodities Fair Sharjah has been a facilitator of trade and economic activities between the UAE and China. Now, with the Chinese reforms set to unfold and the soon-to-be-signed FTA, the exhibition assumes vital significance for both the countries,” said Al Midfa.

Patrick Zheng Shuo, general manager, China Machinery and Electronics Products Exhibition Centre (Chinamex), remarked: “For Chinese manufacturers and distributors, the CCFS is a significant platform to reach out to the high-growth markets in the region. The interest in CCFS is very strong this year, and the UAE’s winning bid for World Expo 2020 has come as the icing on the cake after the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. These events are sure to generate good demand for cost-effective Chinese products, equipment and technology.”

Shuo said the 22 Arab countries as a whole are China’s largest oil import region. The bilateral trade volume between China and the Arab countries in 2012 stood at $222.4 billion, with a year-on-year growth of 14 per cent. From January to June 2013, bilateral trade between China and Arab countries reached $115 billion, a 2.9 per cent growth over 2012.”

For its 12th edition the CCFS focused on green food with the exhibit profile focusing on fresh fruits, vegetables and grains, dry fruits, beverages and frozen food.

More than 150 exhibitors showcased fast food and puffed food processing equipment, traditional arts and paintings, building materials, irrigation and water saving technologies, wood craft, textiles, glassware, metal products, cast iron and cast copper craft, electronics, IT products, garments, footwear, hardware, chemicals, machine parts.

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