The head of the UAE’s Mubadala Investment Company on Thursday stressed the need for the UAE to balance relations with the United States and China, despite growing rivalry between the powers.
Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chief executive of the company, rejected the characterization of a “zero-sum game” in the UAE’s economic ties with the United States and China.
“We see it from a very economic and business perspective, and not as a zero-sum game,” Al Mubarak said at a lunch in Washington hosted by the US-UAE Business Council.
“The United States is for us a crucial strategic ally, an economic ally, an economic partner with the United Arab Emirates… We have 34% of our portfolio in the country, enough said. It will continue.
The United Arab Emirates held $ 44.7 billion in foreign direct investment in the United States in 2020.
But Al Mubarak said the UAE must also maintain strong trade ties with China and India, given the two countries’ growing influence in the global economy.
“Our number one, number two trading relationship in the world in terms of size as a country is China and India,” he said.
“We need to continue to grow and benefit from this trade and exchange with these countries. “
Mr. Al Mubarak said strong trade ties with the two countries are essential for the UAE’s strategy to continue as a center of transport, logistics and trade for the next 50 years.
“We are global,” he said. “We are seated in a very strategic place, which is an advantage for us. “
When asked when he thought China would pass to the United States as the world’s largest economy, Al Mubarak said, “I don’t know and I don’t care.
“It will happen. And when that happens, we’ll be well positioned.
He said the UAE’s economic plan for the next 50 years centers on maintaining and expanding its status as a global economic center.
“We are a transportation hub, a link between east, west, north and south; a link between North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, ”said Mr. Al Mubarak.
“We will continue to play hard in this game, make sure we continue to be this connection hub, this transport hub, this logistics hub, this economic link.”
He said that meant keeping the UAE as an attractive place to do business in the digital age.
“Over the next 50 years, in this new era of digitization, this new era of social media, this new era of connectivity, it’s all about speed,” Al Mubarak said. “It’s speed and we have to sprint.
“The UAE now recognizes that we need to be ahead of the game in this new global environment that we live in.
“We have to make sure that we remain a very competitive and very attractive place that is among the easiest to do business. “
Al Mubarak said this included implementing “the right rules, the right regulations” and “the right reforms”, including the appropriate immigration and nationalization policies.
He reviewed the past 50 years in the United Arab Emirates and discussed significant advances in women’s participation in the economy.
Mr Al Mubarak said he was proud to show his 9-year-old daughter the wide range of female role models in the fields and politics of stems (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
“I’m going to show him a photo of a female astronaut from the United Arab Emirates,” he said.
“More than a quarter of our Cabinet are women. More than a third of our Parliament are women.
“We have women who make composites for Boeing. I talked to [female] nuclear engineers at our nuclear power plants in Barakah.
Source: National News