12/09/2017 06:15 AST

The UAE GDP growth rate has outpaced its global equivalent over the past five years, according to a top executive at the UAE Ministry of Economy, who attributed the jumbo leaps secured by the country’s domestic economy to a robust energy sector and an agile economic diversification programme embraced by the wise leadership of the country.

Addressing a roundtable meeting at the Belt & Road Summit held today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of Foreign Trade and Industry at the Ministry of Economy, said Chinese investments in the UAE reached in excess of $2.3 billion in 2015, with the non-oil sectors being the most beneficiaries of the growing relations between the two nations.

He expected non-oil industries to grow by 3.3 percent during 2017 and to 3.4 percent next year on the back of the significant growth recorded in local investments and the country’s booming international trade.

“We are very optimistic that non-sectors will grow by more than 3 percent, with EXPO 2020 Dubai to woo myriad investments across all strategic sectors,” he maintained, noting that the UAE is seeking to accelerate investment ties and partnerships with Hong Kong in parallel with the remarkable successes achieved through the Belt & Road Initiative.

“Over the past years, Hong Kong has turned to be the largest exporting markets to the Middle East and forged constructive partnerships through the Belt & Road Initiative,” he said, affirming the UAE’s paramount interest in utilising the strategic position and the investment-conducive model provided by Hong Kong.

“Just exactly as the UAE serves as a gate to the Middle and North Africa region, Hong Kong is a significant gateway to the Chinese market. And while China is the world’s largest industrial economy and exporter, the UAE is the Arab world’s second largest economy and major trade destination- facts which ideally pave the ground for establishing giant investment and trade alliances supported by complementary industries between the two sides and backed by political and economic stability and an investment-conducive environment.”

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