DIFC looks to the east for future growth

DIFC senior officials return from China where they met with financial institutions looking to set up in Dubai

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will look to companies from new markets in the Far East for future growth, the area’s governor has told Gulf News in an interview.

DIFC marks ten years of operations this year, and in that time it has recorded strong growth year-on-year, and in order to continue that growth, Eisa Kazim, Governor of the DIFC, said they are looking towards the east.

“In the next 10 years we will be looking to new geographical frontiers in China and Africa,” Kazim told Gulf News.

“We are encouraging more companies to come to Dubai and the DIFC from South East Asia and the Far East, including China, Korea, Japan and India. Strategically speaking, we need to expand in new geographical areas outside our initial base of companies from Europe and North America,” he said.

“We have been very successful in bring the top companies in finance and real economy activities like trading. These companies of the new global economy see Dubai as the centre of several connecting regions, including Asia and Africa.”

The DIFC has helped to grow Dubai’s banking and financial industry from 6 to 7% of Dubai’s GDP in 2005 to more than 11% today.

Dubai becoming a major hub for Chinese operations in Africa, with four of China’s biggest banks active in the city.

Kazim told Gulf News that DIFC senior officials, including himself, have just returned from a visit to China, where they met with all the major banks, the regulators and the Central Bank, as well as re-insurance companies and assent managers, who are looking at Dubai as a base for their operations in the wider region.

“Chinese companies want to work with Chinese banks, and many Chinese companies are already in Dubai as they trade into Africa. They would like a cluster of Chinese banks and other skills to support them. We recognised how much the Chinese want to expand in Dubai,” Kazim said.

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