FAB hosts UAE investment summit for Chinese companies in Middle East

ABU DHABI, 19th May, 2023 (WAM) -- First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) showcased the UAE's potential as an investment gateway for Chinese companies by hosting a China-Arab Entrepreneurs' Summit in Abu Dhabi. The summit brought together over 60 Chinese entrepreneurs, executives, and government officials on Friday.

Over the past decade, China has emerged as the Middle East's largest trading partner, with investment and trade flows surpassing US$330 billion.

The summit, organised as part of a UAE visit by the Sino-International Entrepreneurs Federation, focused on expanding existing economic partnerships by leveraging the UAE's position as a thriving business and finance hub. Key topics of interest included capital raising by Chinese entities in the UAE, local debt and equity markets, debt and equity in the GCC and Egypt, as well as promoting the UAE as an attractive destination for international businesses.

Crucial role of Chinese investments

Martin Tricaud, Group Head of Investment Banking at FAB, pointed out the immense potential for Chinese investment to play a crucial role in the UAE economy and establish new relationships. He emphasised the increasing importance of Abu Dhabi as a regional and global business hub, along with its mature debt and capital markets, which can serve as a platform for Chinese companies seeking international expansion and future growth. FAB, as the UAE's leading bank, has strong connections within the bilateral China-UAE economic relations and aims to foster mutual value for both nations through its trade finance and global transaction banking services.

Sara Al Binali, Group Head of Corporate and Commercial Banking and Acting Group Head of International Banking at FAB, highlighted the UAE's reputation as a centralised logistics hub for the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and South Asia. It is also the most connected country for Chinese companies trading in the region.

The UAE's appealing lifestyle and stable environment make it an attractive location for Chinese companies to establish regional headquarters, providing a tolerant and cosmopolitan setting for employees and their families. The UAE already hosts the largest Chinese community in the Middle East, serving contracts across various regions and countries.

Al Binali said that the UAE will continue to strengthen its position as an international location of choice for Chinese partners due to its strategic location at the crossroads between Eastern and Western markets, business-friendly environment, and compelling lifestyle offerings for global employees.

Diverse industry representatives

The delegates at the China-Arab Entrepreneurs' Summit represented a diverse range of industries, including banking and finance, payments, energy and infrastructure, mining, real estate and construction, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, technology, communications, food, and agriculture. Among the attendees were prominent Chinese entities currently trading in the region, as well as emerging innovators seeking to expand beyond their home market.

As the largest and most global bank in the UAE, FAB has a strong track record of facilitating China-UAE trade links. In 2022, FAB made history as the first UAE bank to open a fully licensed branch in Shanghai, China, enabling trade and investment flows across the region. FAB's Shanghai branch offers a comprehensive range of wholesale banking services to corporate clients and financial institutions in China and the Asia-Pacific Region, including commercial lending, syndication loans, treasury dealings, deposit accounts, and trade financing.

Clarence Singam-Zhou, Head of International Banking at FAB, highlighted FAB's extensive representation in 20 countries, allowing the bank to provide Chinese clients unparalleled connectivity into the GCC and MENA markets.