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Five Chinese Firms to Invest $300 Million in Abu Dhabi | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A picture shows containers at the Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi on September 1, 2012. (AFP)

Abu Dhabi – Five Chinese companies will start operations in Abu Dhabi’s industrial zone with an initial investment of AED1.1 billion ($300 million) in a number of opportunities offered by Abu Dhabi in several sectors as part of the emirate’s diversification plans 2030.

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, minister of state and chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, signed a cooperation agreement with Huang Lixin, executive vice Governor of Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government. The agreement aims to boost the economic ties and execute joint investments by benefiting from the growing opportunities in both economies of the UAE and China.

Under this strategic cooperation agreement, Abu Dhabi Ports signed a 50-year Musataha agreement with China’s Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company Limited (JOCIC) for setting up projects in Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone (KPFTZ).

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports; Peng Xiangfeng, president of China Jiangsu International ETCG; and Luo Hua, general manager of Jiangsu Province Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company were the signatories of the lease agreement.

According to the released information, under the terms of the agreement, China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation (Jiangsu) Construction Management Co, a UAE company newly established by JOCIC, will occupy and develop approximately 23.7-million-sq-ft of the free trade zone for companies from the Chinese province of Jiangsu. This represents 2.2% of the available free zone space in Kizad’s newly allotted KPFTZ area.

Al Jaber said: “The signature of this agreement comes in line with the directives of our wise leadership, marks a new step in trade and partnership to strengthen the ties between the UAE and China, which saw remarkable growth and advancement since Abu Dhabi’s Ruler Mohammad bin Zayed visited China in 2015. A key development has been the commencement of the ‘Belt and Road’ and ‘Maritime Silk Road’ initiatives, which will foster economic growth.”

“The UAE’s history is rooted in trade and lays claim to numerous world-class infrastructure projects. Standing as living testimony to this are Abu Dhabi Ports, Khalifa Industrial Zone and the recently launched Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone, all of which enjoy cutting-edge technologies that ensure speed, efficiency and effectiveness through an integrated system that supports the growth of the trade and logistics industry,” he added.

Al Jaber considered that this agreement further cements “our friendship with China, with economic development as our mutual goal. We are all in agreement that the partnership with Jiangsu will add value to the commercial and industrial activities at Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone.”

Five Chinese companies have lately announced plans to invest in Abu Dhabi. Representatives from Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, Jiangsu Fantai Mining Development (Group) Co. Ltd., Xuzhou Jianghe Wood Co. Ltd., Jiangsu Jinzi Environmental Technology Co. Ltd., and Guangzheng Group signed with JOCIC as the frontrunners in taking advantage of the agreement’s highly competitive trade benefits. The new tenants will pump Dh1.1 billion ($300 million) into the free zone, which will contribute in creating over 1,400 jobs, broadening the financial and physical scope of the zone while bolstering its ties to the “Belt and Road” initiative.

China is the UAE’s second largest trading partner and the biggest exporter to the UAE. The UAE is considered a gateway to about 60 percent of China’s exports to regional markets at an annual volume of exchange of $70 billion.

Lixin said: “Jiangsu and Abu Dhabi are highly complementary to each other in terms of natural endowment, economic structure and industrial systems, bearing the common wishes to speed up industrial structural adjustment and promote economic transformation and upgrading.”

“Abu Dhabi and Jiangsu jointly deepen industrial capacity cooperation and promote the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative, and we will have a broad prospect in this undertaking. We will work together with Abu Dhabi to build the UAE-China Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone into a landmark program of the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and a beacon of UAE-China exchanges and cooperation,” Lixin added.

Captain Al Shamisi also added that “the agreement plays a pivotal role in the Abu Dhabi government’s plans to strengthen the infrastructure and transport sectors in Abu Dhabi, in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. The support of our wise leadership and Abu Dhabi Ports’ achievements to date have helped establish the emirate as a global trading and logistics hub, which has led to this milestone agreement. The signing ceremony with JOCIC highlights Abu Dhabi Ports’ essential role in the shift of the UAE towards a diversified, sustainable economy.”

“Last year, Abu Dhabi Ports signed with COSCO Shipping Limited, the world’s largest container operator, who chose Khalifa Port as the hub for its operations in the Middle East, and is expected to raise the annual capacity to 6 million TEUs in both its existing container terminals. This marks a significant leap in the expansion of the Port, transfer of goods and reduction of costs. In addition to attracting investors from Eastern Asia, it will increase Khalifa Ports’ competitiveness and ease the way for more partnerships with companies and friends in China and East Asia, which will draw further investments into Abu Dhabi,” said Al Shamisi.