Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 September 2019

UAE-China partnership: Mutual cooperation from space to film

Relations were boosted by several high-ranking visits from UAE and Chinese officials over the past few years.

From space to films, the UAE has been ramping up its cooperation with China.

Relations were boosted by several high-ranking visits from UAE and Chinese officials over the past few years.

Cultural exchange is growing with the rising numbers of Chinese tourists. More than 700,000 visited the UAE last year and the UAE decided this year to grant Chinese visitors visas on arrival.

UAE companies are also using the Chinese currency more and more in business transactions.

Last year, the UAE’s use of the yuan comprised 74 per cent of all payments by value to China and Hong Kong, up by 52 per cent from 2014, according to the financial messaging company Swift.

China also renewed its yuan swap agreement last year with the UAE, in its latest move to internationalise the yuan. The agreement allows the UAE Central Bank to provide up to 35 billion yuan (Dh18.67bn) to settle bilateral trades.

Yuan-based products are also on the rise in the UAE.

Chinese gold will play a larger role for Dubai’s commodities market as the emirate seeks to boost ties with its No 1 trade partner.

The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) will list Shanghai gold futures, marking the first time that a foreign exchange will use the yuan-based gold product.

The futures will be traded according to the Shanghai gold benchmark price, established two years ago to open China’s financial market to global economic integration.

The scope of the Chinese-UAE ties are expanding as new agreements are signed.

The UAE and China agreed last year to collaborate in space exploration and the study and development of space science, including cooperation in the research and development of satellites, satellite control systems and space launching services.

In the area of film, Abu Dhabi production company Image Nation has announced a long-term partnership with one of China’s biggest production organisations, The China Intercontinental Communication Center, in a deal that promises to boost the local film industry.

A US$300 million international film fund, The Culture China – Image Nation Content Fund, has been set up to invest in commercial film and television from Hollywood, China and other countries.

But perhaps one of the more interesting announcements is from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia). It has opened an office in Hong Kong, which will act as a springboard for investment opportunities in mainland China and other key Asian markets.

Adia has already signed a high-profile deal to buy a 50 per cent stake in three of Hong Kong’s plushest hotels – Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Renaissance Harbour View and the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong. As part of the HK$18.5 billion (Dh8.76bn) deal, Adia agreed to form a joint venture company with two subsidiaries of real estate developer New World Development, which would look for further acquisitions in the Hong Kong hotels market.

The UAE, which exported 248,000 barrels of oil per day to China in 2014, is also boosting its energy ties with China.

Mubadala Petroleum and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) have signed a non-binding agreement for international exploration and production, onshore and offshore, as well as liquefied natural gas projects. CNPC already has a joint venture with state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, called Yasat, to develop crude in the emirate.

dalsaadi@thenational.ae

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Updated: December 5, 2016 04:00 AM

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