ABU DHABI, 19th May, 2023 (WAM) — First Abu Dhabi Bank, FAB, has showcased the UAE’s potential as an investment gateway for Chinese companies by hosting the China-UAE Entrepreneurs Summit in Abu Dhabi. Friday’s summit brought together more than 60 Chinese entrepreneurs, executives and government officials.
Over the past ten years, China has become the largest trading partner in the Middle East, with investment and trade exceeding US$330 billion.
Organized during the visit of the Federation of Chinese and Foreign Entrepreneurs to the UAE, the summit focused on expanding existing economic partnerships by leveraging the UAE’s position as a thriving business and financial hub. Key topics of interest included financing of Chinese entities in the UAE, local debt and equity markets, debt and equity in the GCC and Egypt, and promoting the UAE as an attractive destination for international business.
The pivotal role of Chinese investment
Martin Tricaud, Group Head, Investment Banking Division, FAB, noted the great potential for Chinese investment to play a key role in the UAE economy and forge new relationships. He highlighted Abu Dhabi’s growing importance as a regional and global business hub, as well as its mature debt and capital markets, which can serve as a platform for Chinese companies seeking international expansion and future growth. As a leading bank in the UAE, FAB has strong ties in the bilateral economic relations between China and the UAE, aiming to create mutual value for both countries through its trade finance and global transaction banking services.
Sara Al Binali, FAB Corporate and Commercial Banking Group Head and International Banking Agency Group Head, highlighted the UAE’s reputation as a centralized logistics hub for the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and South Asia. It is also the country with the closest trade links for Chinese companies in the region.
The UAE’s glamorous lifestyle and stable environment make it an attractive location for Chinese companies to set up regional headquarters, providing an inclusive and cosmopolitan environment for employees and their families. The UAE already has the largest Chinese community in the Middle East, serving contracts in various regions and countries.
Al Binali said the UAE will continue to strengthen its position as the international location of choice for Chinese partners due to its strategic location at the crossroads of East and West markets, business-friendly environment and compelling lifestyle offerings for global employees.
Diverse industry representatives
Representatives of the China-Arab Entrepreneurs Summit come from different industries, including banking and finance, payments, energy and infrastructure, mining, real estate and construction, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, technology, communications, food and agriculture. Attendees included well-known Chinese entities currently operating in the region, as well as emerging innovative companies looking to expand beyond their home market.
As the largest and most global bank in the UAE, FAB has a proven track record in facilitating China-UAE trade links. In 2022, FAB made history by becoming the first UAE bank to open a fully licensed branch in Shanghai, China, facilitating trade and investment flows in the region. FAB Shanghai Branch provides comprehensive wholesale banking services to corporate clients and financial institutions in China and the Asia-Pacific region, including commercial loans, syndicated loans, treasury transactions, deposit accounts and trade finance.
Clarence Singam-Zhou, FAB’s Head of International Banking, highlighted FAB’s extensive representation in 20 countries, enabling the bank to offer Chinese clients unrivaled connectivity to the GCC and MENA markets.