The thriving UAE-China relationship have reached new heights with a number of wide-reaching partnerships signed at Dubai Week in China: Shanghai, an event highlighting how the city is China's global gateway for economic development and cultural exchange.
A total of 11 agreements between leading entities, spanning diverse industries in the public and private sectors, are being signed across the Falcon and Associates initiative, co-hosted by Invest Shanghai and supported by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce (SMCC).
Ties between the twin cities were strengthened further by the announcement that the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a non-profit public entity with 2,829 Chinese firms among its membership, is opening a Shanghai office to identify mutual trade opportunities and explore investment prospects for Chinese companies ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai.
"With its world-class logistics infrastructure, Dubai is an ideal hub for Chinese companies looking to expand their global footprint," said Hisham Al Shirawi, Vice Chairman, Dubai Chamber. "There is incredible investment and trade potential in key growth sectors yet to be explored. We are confident our first representative office in China will help take bilateral relations to the next level."
Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) were among the official partners to use the event as a platform to build new business alliances. With 250 Chinese companies based at Jafza and 150 at DMCC, free zones is an area of growing collaboration, with Chinese firms in Dubai benefiting from advantages such as no customs duties on imports and re-exports, 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profits and no corporate or income taxes.
Highlighting the increasing contribution of Dubai to the Belt and Road Initiative, Jafza signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China Chamber of International Commerce to increase investment cooperation, while DMCC entered three new partnerships.
Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange has obtained a licence from Shanghai Gold Exchange to list Shanghai Gold Futures and signed an agreement with Agricultural Bank of China for it to become the first market maker, while DMCC also signed an agreement with Mega
Capital for the export of what could bring up to 130,000 tonnes of coffee beans from Yunnan State Farms Group to Dubai.
"China is Jafza's leading partner, with trade values of $12.6bn in 2015," said Ibrahim Al Janahi, Deputy CEO and COO, Jafza. "Rapid growth in the region provides greater opportunities for Chinese businesses and we aim to attract more Chinese multinationals and help them capitalise on the continuously growing opportunities in the region."
"This week is evidence of the growing role trade has in bringing our world's closer," said Gautam Sashittal, CEO, DMCC. "China is Dubai's No 1 trading partner and the relationships that we have cemented this week will further underpin the role that DMCC is playing in boosting commodities trade - connecting directly with China's Belt and Road Initiative."
Meanwhile, Supporting Partners DIFC Courts and Dubai Duty Free also signed agreements on the second day.
DIFC Courts and Shanghai High People's Court signed an agreement to bring certainty to businesses by enabling them to trade securely. "Forging links with the world's second largest economy is a strategic priority," said Michael Hwang, DIFC Courts' Chief Justice.
With 13 Chinese cities connected to Dubai with over 100 weekly flights, Chinese travellers to Dubai International are growing year on year. They accounted for 12 per cent of sales at Dubai Duty Free in 2015 and its MoU with Ctrip, the No 1 Chinese online travel agency, will provide its 141 million members an attractive discount from January 1 to June 30, 2017. In addition, the airport retailer signed a MoU with UnionPay International.
After entering a partnership with Invest Shanghai on the opening day, Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI) signed their second MoU of the event with China Corporate United Pavilion Co, Ltd (CCUP).
Other leading Dubai organisations at Dubai Week in China include strategic partner Expo 2020 Dubai and official partners DIFC, Jumeirah Group and DTCM, which staged an appreciation dinner for its partners in China. Additional Supporting Partners include Emirates and KHDA, which plans to sign an agreement with a Chinese entity at the event.
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