Dubai Week in China participants celebrate new cooperations

China-UAE trading relations gather pace with 11 new partnerships announced at Dubai Week in China

A flurry of partnerships forged during day two of Dubai Week in China has signalled ever-closer commercial ties between China and the UAE.

Eleven agreements between leading entities operating in the public and private sectors were announced during the event in Shanghai.

These included leading Dubai free zones Jafza (Jebel Ali Free Zone) and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

Highlighting the increasing contribution of Dubai to the Belt and Road Initiative, Jafza signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with China Chamber of International Commerce to boost investment cooperation.

“China is Jafza’s leading partner, with trade values of US$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.”

DMCC, meanwhile, entered into 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. Additionally, DMCC has signed 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.

Other announcements included news that DIFC Courts would join forces with Shanghai High People’s Court to bring certainty to businesses operating between the UAE and China by enabling them to trade securely. The agreement is a first for a foreign commercial court. DIFC Courts, in partnership with King & Wood Malleson (KWM), also launched a guide on mutual recognition and enforcement of monetary judgements.

“The signing of the MoU between the Shanghai and Dubai courts was a historic moment, because never before has such a memorandum been signed between the UAE and China”, said Mark Beer, Chief Executive and Registrar of DIFC Courts.

“What it adds in terms of value is connectivity. Wherever business operates: whether in China, the Middle East, or beyond – the court systems are there to protect it.”

And after entering a partnership with Invest Shanghai on the event’s opening day, Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI) signed its second MoU of the event with China Corporate United Pavilion Co., Ltd (CCUP).

Elsewhere, with Chinese travellers to Dubai International growing year on year and accounting for 12 per cent of retail sales at the airport in 2015, Dubai Duty Free used Dubai Week in China to announce an MoU with Ctrip, China’s leading online travel agency, that will give the latter’s 141 million members an attractive discount from 1 January to 30 June 2017. A further deal was struck with global payment network UnionPay International.

In further news, ties between twin cities Dubai and Shanghai were bolstered by the announcement that the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a non-profit public entity with 1,775 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 His Excellency 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.”

Mei Wang, an attendee at Dubai Week in China, was one example of an already-successful partnership between the two regions. As Business Development Director of Yingke & Shayan Legal Consulting, she said that the firm was always looking to expand into Middle Eastern markets. “We already have offices in Iran and Dubai,” she said. “For us, the Middle East is the next main nexus point from which Chinese businesses would do well to start looking into, if they haven’t done so already.”

Dubai Week in China, initiated by Falcon and Associates, co-hosted by Invest Shanghai and supported by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce (SMCC), takes place 27-29 October at the Langham Hotel and The House, Shanghai.