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China's Belt and Road Initiative to boost maritime ports development: UAE official
Source: Xinhua      Date: 2017-02-28
DUBAI - The presence of Chinese companies in the free zone at the Khalifa Industrial City and Khalifa Port enhances the status of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in support of the Belt and Road Initiative, said Mohammed Juma Al-Shamsi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, in an interview with Xinhua.
  
Asked about the possible role played by the ports of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to build and strengthen China's Belt and Road Initiative, Al-Shamsi said ports of Abu Dhabi have "the best developed infrastructure in the region" linking East and the West.
  
In addition, Abu Dhabi's Khalifa port "is capable to receive different sizes of ships and the existence of equipment container transport gives confidence to investors and facilitates access to Africa, Asia and also Europe," he said.
  
The Belt and Road Initiative aims to economically integrate Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. It consists of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
  
Al-Shamsi said the cooperation between the UAE and China has witnessed a quantum leap after the visit of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to China in 2015.
  
Trade between the UAE and China is expected to hit $60 billion by the end of 2016, up from $54.8 billion in 2014, according to the Abu Dhabi official figures.