US-Sino trade war has made dealing with China 'more difficult,' Majid Al Futtaim CEO says

Key Points
  • A trade dispute between the U.S. and China has battered financial markets in recent months, with market participants increasingly concerned the conflict could soon destabilize the global economy.
  • "One thing is for sure, dealing with China is becoming more difficult," CEO Alain Bejjani told CNBC's Hadley Gamble at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Monday.
  • Official data published Monday showed China's economy grew at its slowest rate in almost 30 years.
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China is a very important trade partner: Majid Al Futtaim CEO

A long-running trade war between the world's two-largest economies is taking its toll on business sentiment in the Middle East, according to the chief executive of real estate and property services firm Majid Al Futtaim.

A trade dispute between the U.S. and China has battered financial markets in recent months, with market participants increasingly concerned the conflict could soon destabilize the global economy.

"From an import and an export standpoint, China is a very important trade partner (to the Middle East). So, the question is … Is it going to be better or worse?" CEO Alain Bejjani told CNBC's Hadley Gamble at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Monday.

"One thing is for sure, dealing with China is becoming more difficult," Bejjani added.

Two workers load steels products at a wharf in Yichang, China.
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'Practical hindrances'

Official data published Monday showed China's economy grew at its slowest rate in almost 30 years.

The world's second-largest economy expanded at a rate of 6.6 percent in 2018, largely in line with analysts' forecasts.

A downturn in China's growth rate has stoked fears about the possible knock-on effect on the global economy, with Bejjani highlighting "practical hindrances" between China and the Middle East in recent months.

But, while the ongoing U.S.-Sino trade war has certainly complicated matters, the world's second-largest economy was already trying to manage a slowdown.

Beijing is trying to balance a crackdown on high debt levels while also maintaining economic growth.

This is likely to benefit the economy in the long run, but it has resulted in a far slower pace of growth than the country has seen in recent years.