ABU DHABI - Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, has said that the bilateral relations between the UAE and China are a global model to follow.

He also mentioned the strategic ties between the two countries were upgraded to a comprehensive partnership, thanks to their significant development prospects.

In his recorded message to the 13th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum (IIICF), held this year in Macao, China, which was attended by infrastructure officials and representatives of private sector companies, Al Mazrouei said that Emirati-Chinese relations have witnessed significant advancement in recent years. The two countries have exchanged their applied sustainable development approach and successful policies, enabling them to attain international leadership in many areas, most notably in the energy, infrastructure, housing and transport sectors.

The UAE was among the first countries to join the Belt and Road Initiative and is one of the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) while China is a major partner of the UAE, he added, noting that there are more than 650 Emirati investment projects in China.

Al Mazrouei stressed that cooperation with Chinese companies is continuing, as more than 4,000 operate in the Emirati market and employ some 400,000 people, making them a key contributor to the UAE’s sustainable development process.

Despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent geopolitical turbulence, the UAE’s construction sector is growing, he added.

"We are aware that investing in sustainable infrastructure is the way to achieve sustainable growth and development during the post-pandemic era. Under this framework, the UAE Government recently adopted a federal law covering the partnership between the public and private sectors, to increase investment in sustainable infrastructure," Al Mazrouei said. The UAE has previously issued several laws aimed at attracting foreign investments, including a law that allows foreigners to fully own projects in the country.

The UAE encourages joint investments with China in every sector, most notably in digital economy, green economy and circular economy, he added, pointing out that the UAE’s vision is to become more sustainable, by enhancing its cooperation with its international partners.