Chinese businesspeople in UAE upbeat about Dubai's future development

09:27, December 27, 2009      

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by Sun Ruijun

Dubai, a member of the seven-strong federation United Arab Emirates (UAE), will overcome temporary difficulties and finally tide over the global financial crisis, Chinese businesspeople said Saturday.

"Many Chinese businesspeople living in the country are confident in the UAE government," Yaya Liu, general manager of Yaspeco, a chinaware trading company, said in an interview with Xinhua.

"They have witnessed rapid development of the UAE, especially the emirate of Dubai, in recent years," she said, adding that the Gulf nation has carried out policies that benefit investors.

Liu, who came to the UAE more than 10 years ago, said that since the global financial crisis broke out in 2008, Chinese businesspeople's trade activities in Dubai have been affected to some extent.

"Some people, who came to Dubai from China in the past two years to run small retail businesses, were hard hit by the crisis, as they don't have long-term, stable customer groups and are short of a sufficient range of products," she said.

But for larger enterprises, especially those that have manufacturing bases in China and a fixed customer group in Dubai, the impact was comparatively not so serious, Liu noted.

When asked about the recent "Dubai debt crisis," she said the incident has not caused any negative influence on her business.

"On the contrary, orders for my products increased due to the Eid al-Adha festival of Islamic nations in the Middle East," she said.

Trade activities will unavoidably be affected by financial or debt problems in the region, Liu said. But she added that after all, real estate and trade belong to two different sectors.

Sharing Liu's view, Hu Weidong, marketing manager of China Town Real Estate Trading Center, a property firm in Dubai, said quite a few Chinese businessmen in the emirate, especially those who have invested in real estate, are still optimistic about its future development.

"I believe Dubai World's debt issue will be gradually resolved through negotiations between the group and its creditor banks," he said, referring to one of Dubai's largest conglomerate, which jittered world markets and media after announcing its debt restructuring plan last month.

Hu said the debt issue was left over by the excessive growth of Dubai's real estate sector in the past years, mainly due to poor planning and easily available loans.

"In some ways, the 'debt crisis' has turned out good as the government has become more transparent by introducing and standardizing relevant laws and regulations," he said.

As for the prospects of Dubai's real estate sector in 2010, Hu said it depends on the general trading environment of the emirate and the UAE at large.

"Judging from the present situation, the country still has a freer trading environment," he said.

According to Hu, the UAE government has reduced licence fee fordoing business in the country by 15 percent.

"The UAE government still encourages investment and keeps its policy on free trade zone unchanged," he said.

Source: Xinhua
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