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July 18, 2018

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DMCC: Make the world connected by trade

So why are we here? Perhaps a better question would be why wouldn’t we be? After all, Dubai and China are longstanding partners. There are around 200,000 Chinese nationals living and working in the UAE today. Last year, bilateral trade between China and the UAE jumped 15 percent to top US$52 billion, which has grown an impressive 800 fold since 1984, making China one of the UAE’s top trading partners.

But most importantly there are parallels between Dubai and China in our economic approach. Recently, the UAE Cabinet announced a range of measures to remove barriers to trade to encourage foreign investment.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is also continuing to present commercial opportunities for all of us. In fact, DMCC’s latest global thought leadership research on the Future of Trade found that the Belt and Road Initiative is developing faster than expected. Today, nearly 70 countries are connected in some way to the Belt and Road. That’s equivalent to 62 percent of global GDP. Asia’s emergence as the world’s economic center of gravity is happening now, and it’s happening fast.

It was only a couple of months ago the UAE had the honor of hosting President Xi Jinping’s Special Representative Yang Jiechi to discuss the expansion of strategic ties with China. This also builds on the establishment of the US$10 billion strategic co-investment fund, launched in 2015 to focus on diversified investments in a range of growth sectors, further supporting the Belt and Road Initiative.

So you see, there is an important synergy here, both Dubai and China are committed to boosting our economies keeping doors to trade open, despite the rising trend of protectionism around the world. And, DMCC’s International Roadshow, Made for Trade Live, is designed to form strong bilateral trade relations, highlight the opportunities presented by Dubai, and explain how DMCC, as a global hub, can connect companies with unprecedented growth opportunities in some of the most exciting, and fastest growing marketplaces in the world.

This opportunity is one a number of Chinese businesses have taken advantage of to date — in fact, we see them thrive in our Free Zone: Registrations of Chinese companies in DMCC grew at 46 percent on average, annually, in the five years up to July 2018. Major Chinese companies such as Hisense, Sinopec, China Harbor Engineering Company, Hikvision, Powerchina, Sepcoii Electric Power Construction Corporation, Shenyang Yuanda Aluminium Industry Engineering and Skyworth have their offices in DMCC.

And to give you a sense of what can result from our international outreach program, and the effort to forge partnerships with the Chinese business community, let me share a few examples:

Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange was the first foreign exchange to list Shanghai Gold Futures outside of China last year. Also, a partnership with Mega Capital and Yunnan State Farms will see us open a DMCC Coffee Centre for the trade later this year.

DMCC will be the first in the UAE with the capacity to handle up to 20,000 tons of green coffee beans at a value of up to US$100 million annually. In June, we signed an agreement with Meishan representing the Ningbo Province, to leverage DMCC’s to knowledge and expertise when it comes to launching, growing and retaining a successful global Free Zone environment.

Last week, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the largest official institution for the promotion of foreign trade in China. Designed to strengthen the commercial collaboration between the Wuhan business community and DMCC, the collaboration further highlights Dubai’s position as a global gateway and the ideal partner for leading Chinese enterprise to access some of the fastest-growing markets in Central, South and South-East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and beyond. Much has been achieved already, but positively, there is scope to do a lot more.

Expo 2020

We also offer the opportunity to connect with some of the biggest economic projects of the day such as Dubai’s Expo 2020. It’s estimated that Expo 2020 will contribute US$24 billion to Dubai’s GDP and generate over 200,000 jobs. The six-month exhibition offers great potential for Chinese business, with opportunities in a range of areas, such as infrastructure development and service provision.

And, DMCC is certainly a natural first place to go for those looking to learn more about business opportunities such as the Expo 2020 or Free Trade Zones in Dubai. Dubai and China already enjoy a fantastic relationship, and its economic connection is going from strength to strength, especially with Expo 2020 and Belt and Road collaboration in mind.

But there remains a huge opportunity for Chinese firms to access the fast growing and exciting global markets through Dubai. Established in 2002, DMCC is now the leading Free Zone in the world and the combined revenue generated by our 15,000 plus member companies, and community of over 100,000 people accounts to nearly 10 percent of Dubai’s GDP.

Commodities, be it agricultural products, gold, diamond, tea, or coffee – is of course a huge focus for us, but we also have an interest in property of course with the much anticipated Uptown Dubai on the horizon. At DMCC, we stand ready to support Chinese companies which come to seek to leverage the government’s decision to further reduce trade barriers and enhance future trade collaboration.


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