The Abu Dhabi Global Market has launched its first overseas representative office in Beijing, which will work on regulatory collaborations and initiating new projects and joint activities to generate more cross-border commerce.
Actually, friendship between China and the United Arab Emirates has begun earlier than the establishment of the representative office. The UAE is China's top investment destination in this region and China is the UAE's biggest trade partner.
“Speaking of 2016, China has overcome India in terms of the UAE's largest trade partner,” said Rashed Alqemzi, Consul General of the UAE in Shanghai. Alqemzi also said there is huge potential to increase trade in key sectors such as trade, tourism, retail, logistics, renewable energy, high tech, and real estate.
With the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, the UAE's location and robust economic policy fits well into China's growth path and plans. The Shanghai Stock Exchange agreed to a deal in principle with the Abu Dhabi Global Market in April. The partners signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a stock exchange in Abu Dhabi to support businesses and investors involved in Belt and Road projects.
“We used to have the US dollars between our currencies. Nowadays, we can do a direct exchange between the Dirham and RMB.” Rashed Alqemzi said.
In 2017, UnionPay International and the oldest privately owned lender in the United Arab Emirates, Mashreq Bank, announced a deal to bring QuickPass payment service to the UAE for the first time. UnionPay cards have been accepted for payment in the UAE since 2009, and now most merchants and ATMs in the country accept UnionPay cards.
“On the one hand, UnionPay cardholders visiting the country can pay by tapping their UnionPay chip cards or mobile phones. On the other, the local customers may enjoy this safe and convenient mobile payment too, since over 50,000 UnionPay chip cards have been issued there and all these cards support contactless payment function,” said Larry Wang, Vice President of UnionPay International.
Meanwhile, the UAE is gearing up to host the 2020 World Expo, becoming the first country in the Middle East to host the event. The theme of the 2020 World Expo is Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.
Abu Dhabi authorities said the number of visitors is expected to reach 600,000 in 2021. Chinese passport holders have been able to visit the UAE without a visa since January.