The UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to bolster ties with Hong Kong, the organisers of the eighth edition of the Belt and Road Summit said in a statement.

Speaking at the panel discussion on "Tapping into the Potential of the Middle East, Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy of the UAE, highlighted the UAE's switch from a linear to a circular economy, continually recycling resources.

He disclosed that the country was working on a "fry to fly" scheme where an industrial plant converted used cooking oil into aviation fuel.

As with Hong Kong, both tourism and aviation were vital for the UAE, the minister said, adding each sector accounted for 14 percent of the UAE's GDP, ensuring both became sustainable.

As with Hong Kong and its membership of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), the UAE was developing manufacturing in the Middle East, planning industrial corridors with Bahrain and Jordan, Al Marri said.

Fahd bin Abdulmohsan Al-Rasheed, Advisor in the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of Saudi Arabia, said the Middle East and Saudi Arabia had a lot to contribute to the Belt and Road.  

More than 280 investment projects from the Belt and Road region and beyond were showcased, covering four main areas: energy, natural resources and public utilities; innovation and technology; urban development and transportation and logistics infrastructure.

A total of 21 cooperation MoUs were signed, involving government bodies and companies from Hong Kong, Mainland China and ASEAN countries, the statement said.

The summit was jointly organised by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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