Revealed: how China is driving growth in Dubai's financial hub

Chinese financial institutions now make up nearly a quarter of total assets booked in Dubai International Financial Centre
Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC.
By Sam Bridge
Wed 16 May 2018 04:58 PM

Chinese financial institutions make up nearly a quarter of total assets booked in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), according to latest figures.

The total value of these assets reached $33.4 billion by the end of September 2017, a 30.5 percent increase from $25.6 billion reported in year-end 2016.

The figures were announced as Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC, and Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, hosted a senior delegation from China, led by Mr Qian Keming, Vice Minister of Commerce of China.

The meeting, which was also attended by members from the DIFC senior management team, focused on the growing importance of DIFC’s longstanding relationship with Chinese institutions, and areas of collaboration that can support the One Belt, One Road initiative.

DIFC is the regional headquarters to China’s four largest banks in terms of total assets - Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, ICBC and China Construction Bank Corporation.

A recent survey also ranked the UAE as third in a global index of nations that stand to benefit most from the One Belt, One Road Initiative.

Kazim said: “Dubai has always been a focal point for trade and investment flows across the South-South corridor, and we have always seen China as a very important part of this corridor. We pride ourselves on the strong ties we have built with China, and the Chinese financial community in particular.

"The level of interest we continue to see from Chinese institutions, together with the growth trajectory of Chinese companies operating from the centre is testament to the growing role of DIFC as a gateway to growth. The world-class infrastructure and legal and regulatory environment remain a key differentiator for DIFC, and an important point of attraction for Chinese institutions looking to access the MEASA region via Dubai."

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Last Updated: Wed 16 May 2018 05:03 PM GST

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