UAE economist calls for stronger Arab-China trade ties

Updated: 2013-07-19 11:30


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DUBAI - A prominent economist in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday called on Arab countries to deepen their economic and financial ties with China in order to overcome the economic crisis that they are facing.

In article for European Financial Review, Nasser Saidi, president of corporate governance consultancy Nasser Saidi and Associates, said teaming up with China would be an integral part of a new financial architecture which the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) needed to achieve sustainable economic growth.

Nasser, a former Lebanese minister of economy and former chief economist of the onshore banking hub Dubai International Financial Center, said that using the US dollar and euro to conduct trade with China was "incongruous" as it increased transaction costs and raises exchange rate and counterparty risks.

He urged the MENA region to take political steps to integrate the Chinese currency, or renminbi, into its trade and investment transactions and payment systems.

According to the economic advisor to several MENA blue chip companies and governments, given the shift in global economic geography toward emerging market economies and the accompanying shift in trade patterns, "the Arab countries need to restructure and reorient their banking, trade and investment strategies and policies accordingly."