H.E Falah Al Ahbabi:
- Ease of doing business in the Emirate for our current and future customers is a top priority
- Agreement with JOCIC and ICBC to streamline setup process for Chinese firms in the UAE
Abu Dhabi–UAE, 03 August 2019: Abu Dhabi Ports and Jiangsu Overseas Cooperation Investment Co. Ltd. (JOCIC) have signed a five-year agreement with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to make it easier and quicker for Chinese companies to do business at Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD), Abu Dhabi’s integrated trade, logistics, industrial and free zone.
Abu Dhabi Ports, the operator and manager of the Emirate’s commercial and community ports, and its subsidiary KIZAD have already established with JOCIC a 2.2 square kilometre China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone at KIZAD under a 50-year agreement. The Demonstration Zone forms part of the UAE’s support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and aims to attract more trade and investment to Abu Dhabi. The agreement also reiterates the strategic position played by the Emirate to the major trade hubs along the BRI.
During the recent state visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to China, a MoU was signed by H.E. Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, Wang Bin, Chairman of JOCIC, and Chen Siqing, Chairman of ICBC, KIZAD providing even more attractive for foreign investors.
Through its branches in Abu Dhabi and Jiangsu, ICBC – the world’s largest bank by assets – will provide services for firms being incorporated at KIZAD by becoming a preferred banking partner of Abu Dhabi Ports and JOCIC. The three organisations will facilitate meetings between companies and the bank to help it tailor its portfolio of products and services to individual needs, making it quicker and easier for companies to start up in KIZAD. In addition, ICBC will raise awareness of KIZAD with clients in China and across other markets.
H.E. Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Chairman of the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “Abu Dhabi’s strategic location and commitment to the Belt and Road Initiative has placed the Emirate in an advantageous position on the global trade map. Thanks to these factors, we have forged a number of strategic partnerships that are supporting the development of an innovative and sustainable economic ecosystem across the region.
“I am delighted that our latest partnership is with a global leader such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Improving the ease of doing business in the Emirate for both our current and future clients is a top priority for Abu Dhabi Ports. Our agreement with ICBC is another successful achievement of these efforts, since navigating finance and banking can be a major obstacle for firms looking to enter into a new market.”
JOCIC, which is engaged in investing, constructing, operating and managing industrial zones abroad, as well as investing in real estate development and other projects, has already attracted the interest of 20 Chinese firms in the Demonstration Zone since it was set up last year.
Wang Bin, Chairman of JOCIC, said: “The UAE is attracting Chinese investment through our industrial cooperation zone at KIZAD thanks to strong confidence and sound industrialization policies, as well as its commitment to economic diversification. The country, located at the meeting point of Europe, Asia and Africa, also has a welcoming business environment and is a hub for numerous industries, such as shipping logistics, finance and technology.
“This makes the UAE both an important platform for Chinese enterprises looking to enter Europe and Africa, and a critical gateway through which European and African enterprises can explore the Chinese market.
“We are proud to be helping Chinese enterprises grow their businesses overseas efficiently and effectively through the demonstration zone at KIZAD.”
From the financing perspective, this significant agreement will provide ICBC with a unique opportunity to help Chinese enterprises better understand the opportunities presented by KIZAD and support their investments in industry, trade and logistics.
Under the agreement, the bank will also help potential investors understand the banking sector in the UAE and will have a dedicated liaison team for clients of Abu Dhabi Ports, who will receive priority treatment from ICBC. The bank, Abu Dhabi Ports and JOCIC will also work together to simplify application processes for services ranging from foreign exchange to financial consultancy and project finance, including speeding up the sourcing and processing of documents, such as those used to grant land rights within KIZAD.
The bank will also support Abu Dhabi Ports’ clients looking to set up in China.
The agreement is the latest agreement between Abu Dhabi Ports and a major Chinese company. Earlier in the year, Roadbot broke ground on a new tyre manufacturing plant at the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Zone.
The longstanding economic relationship between China and the UAE was further strengthened last year with the official inauguration of the COSCO Shipping and Ports’ Abu Dhabi Terminal at Khalifa Port, positioning Abu Dhabi as the regional hub for COSCO’s global network of 285 berths at 37 ports.
About Abu Dhabi Ports
Abu Dhabi Ports was established in 2006 with the mission to transform the Emirate’s maritime infrastructure and support the vision of its Leadership to be at the forefront of maritime, trade and industry.
Today, it operates 11 ports and terminals across the UAE and abroad, as well as Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, the Emirate’s integrated trade, logistics and industrial hub.
The flagship of the company is Khalifa Port. Inaugurated in December 2012, it was the first semi-automated container port in the region. The port is currently undergoing a five-year, AED 10 billion expansion that is being driven by partnerships with some of the world’s leading maritime companies, such as COSCO SHIPPING Ports Ltd and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company. The strategy will see capacity at the port increased from 5 million to 9.1 million. Through its joint venture Fujairah Terminals, Abu Dhabi Ports is also rejuvenating the Port of Fujairah, creating a new gateway to the UAE.
Abu Dhabi Ports is also harnessing emerging technologies to simplify and streamline operations. Its digital entity, Maqta Gateway, is the developer and operator of the first Port Community System in the UAE, and the first UAE entity to test blockchain technology with an international maritime operator, helping to strengthen maritime security.
Abu Dhabi Ports aim to charter a path of sustainable growth by protecting the ocean, encouraging responsible citizenship, and promoting the sharing of knowledge and expertise to fuel entrepreneurship and innovation. “SAFEEN”, which is providing a comprehensive range of marine, navigational and ancillary quayside services as well as VTS Services and fleet maintenance in a safe, secure and efficient manner.
To meet the increasing demand of cruise liners and passengers, Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach was developed, offerings cruise ship passengers a new beach destination with unmatched tourism experiences.
We want to ensure a legacy across the region and supporting the development of talent is key to this. Through our maritime academy and our investments into the personal and professional development of our employees, we are creating maritime leaders who will carry UAE trade to even greater heights. Additionally, Abu Dhabi Ports also manages the Maritime Training Centre at Musaffah Port.
In 2019, Abu Dhabi Ports became the first company in the UAE and Middle East to receive the Platinum Accreditation from Investors in People (IIP), an international non-profit standard for people management and training. It also received the Palladium Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy award, which recognises organisations whose well-designed strategies and sustained excellence in execution have yielded industry-leading performance.