Mashreq and Bank of China during the signing
Mashreq, one of the UAE’s leading financial institutions, announced its partnership with Bank of China to establish a ‘China Desk’ in the UAE. The first of its kind exclusive agreement demonstrates Mashreq’s long-term plans with Bank of China and the strong presence of both institutions.
Representatives from Bank of China and Mashreq will operate the desk. It will offer corporate banking solutions to Chinese companies and organizations operating in the Gulf region, and UAE companies looking to do business in China. The primary objective of the partnership is to assist Chinese companies in expanding their footprint overseas as well as local investors looking to make their mark in China.
The signing ceremony was held in the presence of H.E. Zhan Jingbao, the Consul General of China in Dubai, John Iossifidis, Head of International Banking Group at Mashreq, Karim Mahmoud, Co-Head of Corporate Investment Banking Group at Mashreq, Cheng Jun Head of Global Trade Services representing Bank of China and Shi Wei, Assistant General Manager, Financial Institutions. This partnership is expected to strengthen the economic ties between the UAE and China.
Bank of China is China’s most international bank with an extensive overseas network covering over 30 countries and regions. Renowned for its expertise in international trade finance, Bank of China maintains its leadership position as the world’s largest trade bank boasting a large corporate clientele. With more and more Chinese companies expanding their operations in the Middle East where Bank of China has no business presence, the set-up of a China Desk in the UAE will facilitate tailor-made financial products and services to them by partnering in synergy with Mashreq.
The agreement is in line with Mashreq’s strategic plans to further expand its reach and offer customers compelling financial services, both locally and regionally.
During the signing ceremony, John Iossifidis, Head of International Banking Group at Mashreq said, “Chinese companies are increasingly important trading partners and direct investors, not just within the Middle East, but around the world. We believe that establishing a China Desk in the Middle East will enable us to facilitate cross-border activities with Chinese and local companies alike. Establishing a China Desk in partnership with Bank of China, China’s leading and most international bank, makes the proposition even more compelling. This partnership clearly demonstrates Mashreq’s extensive network and expertise to continue offering its services, locally and regionally.”
Cheng Jun, Head of Global Trade Services from Bank of China, commented, “We are really pleased to partner with a leading financial institution as Mashreq. UAE is an important market that no Chinese banks can afford to overlook. The platform enables Bank of China to access the local Chinese companies by working in synergy with Mashreq to offer a wider and better range of services. Our bond will be further enhanced with joint marketing to both local Chinese companies and UAE companies wishing to explore the Chinese market.”
Mashreq will offer Chinese companies a range of products and services including account services, trade finance facilities, and advisory service concerning the local industrial and legal framework.
From 1999-2009, bilateral trade between the two countries was $119.4bn (Dhs438.4bn) and this figure continues to grow. UAE trade volume with China is on the rise and the exports and imports of both the countries have increased substantially.
In a recent public announcement, China became the second largest trading partner of the UAE in 2010; total trade between the two countries is reported to be worth AED 50bn.
The number of Chinese residents in the UAE reached 180,000 contributing to the continuous growth of trade. To date, there are approximately 2,500 Chinese companies in the UAE servicing various industries.
Iossifidis, Mashreq concluded, “Given the increasing links with China, the establishment of a China Desk, with our partner the Bank of China, to focus on facilitating this activity, is simply good business.”