The Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM, and the Hainan Provincial Government have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to further boost the economic and financial collaboration between China and the UAE via Hainan Free Trade Zone and ADGM’s international financial centre and financial free zone.
The signing took place on the sidelines of the 2019 Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference. The agreement is the first of such financial and economic cooperation between Hainan Provincial Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Middle East region.
The MoU was signed by Chen Yang, Director-General of the Hainan Provincial Financial Supervision and Regulation Bureau and Calvin Fu, China Chief Representative of ADGM, and witnessed by Liu Cigui, Secretary of Hainan Provincial Committee of the Central Party Committee of China/Chairman of the Standing Committee of Hainan Provincial People’s Congress and Richard Teng, CEO of Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM. The ceremony took place at the Boao Forum for Asia, Hainan, China on 28th March.
The agreement establishes a formal platform for both authorities to work closely in key aspects including, the opening up and development of the financial sector within the Hainan Free Trade Zone. It also details the development of the financial and commercial regulatory infrastructure and framework in the free trade zone, joint investment and financing initiatives between the two countries in support of the Belt and Road Initiative, legislative and dispute resolution support from ADGM, development of exchanges in the free trade zone and enable cross-listing of financial products, facilitate greater business opportunities and set-up between Hainan and the UAE.
Commenting on the MoU, Liu Cigui said, "This cooperation with ADGM is a significant milestone and progress in our foreign cooperation and strengthening of international relations. To establish a world-class free trade zone, we will be enhancing our business infrastructure and environment, advocating an international legal jurisdiction and framework to strengthen the competitiveness of Hainan Free Trade Zone and contributing towards the economic growth of Hainan Province."
For his part, Richard Teng said, "This agreement is a further testament of the strategic partnership and strong alliance established between leaders of the UAE and China. Hainan Province has been designated as a free trade zone as well as China’s first free port and will witness significant development in the coming decades.
"We look forward to working closely with the Hainan Provincial Government to support greater investment, capital and trade flows. Together with the Hainan Provincial Financial Supervision Bureau, we will also work tirelessly to enable mutual growth and development of the financial services industry. Our partnership will create more business and investment opportunities connecting China and the Middle East and Africa region."
China and the UAE have maintained a long cultural and economic partnership for many decades. The UAE is China’s top investment destination in this region and China is the biggest trade partner of the UAE, making up 14.7 percent of the country’s total foreign trade in 2017.
A report on the non-oil foreign trade exchange between the UAE and China published by the UAE Ministry of Economy states that the value of trade between the two nations increased by 15.1 percent to US$53.3 billion in 2017. The UAE’s trade with free zones accounts for 52 percent of the total foreign trade with China, according to the Ministry.
With the launch of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Belt and Road initiative in 2013, the UAE’s geographical advantage and robust economic policy fit well into China’s growth path and long-term blueprint.