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UAE defines vital role in stronger Sino-European relations at 2008 Hamburg Summit

posted on 15/09/2008: 676 views

Foreign Trade Minister, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, delivered a keynote speech on Sino-European relations and the partnership of the UAE and Gulf Cooperative Council with these vital global economies as part of the 3rd Hamburg Summit, being held from September 10 - 12, 2008, at the Albert-Schaefer-Saal Foyer, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Hamburg, Germany.

The Summit, initiated by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, is a vital platform for prominent public and private sector personalities to enhance economic, political and cultural ties between China and Europe. This marks the second time that Sheikha Lubna has attended the event after her participation in the 2004 inaugural edition. The Minister was also the sole representative of the Gulf Region, affirming the UAE's enhanced global status and its close affinity with China and Europe.

The UAE maintains strong commercial relations with the two regions; trade with Europe reached EUR 106.8 billion in 2007, while China is the country's second largest trading partner with annual bilateral volume exceeding EUR 13.62 billion. Sheikha discussed and commended Sino-European efforts to enhance regional collaboration, in light of their significant influence on the global economy. She also highlighted the important role of her country and her region in improving ties between China and Europe.

Speaking before Ole von Beust, First Mayor and President of the Senate, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Sheikha Lubna said: "China and Europe continue to build on their fruitful collaboration; in fact, the EU and China are in the process of negotiating a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) to update the 1985 Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement currently constituting the legal basis governing EU-China relations. These and other initiatives that further harmonize the Chinese-European affinity are greatly welcomed and supported by the UAE and the rest of the international community." "The UAE also intends to remain a key agent in forging better relations between the EU and China. More than their valued partner, we also wish to be an important link between East and West, as we continue our shared quest for global harmony and sustained progress," she added.

The UAE Minister explained that the UAE is committed to helping wean China into the intricacies of the European markets, and thus facilitate higher levels of productive relations. She added that her country's solid and long-standing diplomatic bonds with China and Europe places it in a positive position to encourage mutual support from both regions and between East and West in general.

Aside from Sheikha Lubna, more than 60 other high-profile international speakers and moderators will share their thoughts throughout the Summit's dynamic mix of expert panels, workshops and interactive sessions. These include von Beust; Lt. General (Ret.) Daniel Christman, Senior Vice President, US Chamber of Commerce; Lee Kuan Yew, Minister Mentor, Republic of Singapore; Anne Marie Idrac, Minister of State to the Minister for the Economy, Industry and Employment, with responsibility for Foreign Trade, France; David O'Sullivan, Director General, Directorate General Trade, European Commission, Belgium; Helmut Schmidt, former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany; and Zhang Dejiang, Deputy Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China, among others.

The event's key themes include "China - growth unlimited?" "EU-China Trade Relations - opportunities for trade without barriers" "Banking and financial activities between the EU and China," "Looking ahead: China and the process of Asian integration," "Environment and climate protection - hot topic for the world economy," "Research '&' Development How to build and Innovative Society," "Giants on the move - how BRIC Countries manage growth," "Managing China's need for energy and natural resources - a global perspective," and "Logistics - getting it from A to B." "The world economy is undergoing various upheavals that necessitate stronger international alliances, especially among nations that maintain a positive influence in the international markets. This Summit sets a valuable tone for such efforts by giving progressive direction to China and Europe, two of the rising forces in the global economic stage," concluded Sheikha Lubna.

The conference encourages open multi-disciplinary discussions and lively exchange, thus forging real partnerships at the corporate, public and private level. Participants agree that the positive and proactive approach taken by the Summit paves the way for the creation of viable and productive strategies to promote stronger relations not only between China and Europe but among the global community. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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