The future for trade relations between UAE and China is very ‘bright’ and provides many opportunities for increased use of Chinese renminbi in cross-border trade, according to the Chinese consulate in Dubai.

Speaking at an event run by the UK’s HSBC, a representative from the consulate spoke of the potential for further cooperation in trade and investment between the two countries.

The UAE is China’s largest export market in the Gulf with bilateral trade between the UAE and China increasing 16 times since 2002 to reach $40.42bn in 2012.

Approximately 3,800 Chinese companies are based in the UAE and China’s annual investment in the UAE was $170m by the end of October 2012.

Only a small proportion of UAE-China trade is currently conducted in Chinese renminbi. However, it is a growing share of the total volume of cross-border trade, with the use of renminbi growing by 79 per cent between 2011 and 2012.

The consulate representative said the use of RMB in trade between the UAE and China is set to make “great progress”.