DIFC signs landmark agreement with China Banking Association

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial hub in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region (MEASA), has announced that it has signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China Banking Association (CBA). This will be a significant addition to the Centre’s global network of strategic partnerships.

DIFC and CBA will collaborate on sharing best practices and delivering enhanced services to their communities of over 2,000 active registered firms operating in the Centre, and 695 member units in the Association in the areas of financial services and FinTech. Additionally, the two entities will explore ways of providing education and professional training to the relevant members of their respective communities, in areas of common interest and mutual benefit.

The MoU was signed by Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, and Mr. Guangwei Pan, Chief Executive Officer of China Banking Association.

This partnership with China Banking Association is a strategic milestone in cementing DIFC’s longstanding connection to China’s financial community. What we aim to create, together with China Banking Association, is a stream of opportunities and best practices that allow our communities to collaborate on unlocking new areas for development”, said Arif Amiri, commenting on the MoU.

The world-class infrastructure we have built in DIFC is rapidly becoming the ideal gateway for Chinese institutions to access the fast-growing markets of the MEASA region and undertake activities that support Belt and Road initiatives. This is not limited to large financial institutions, but also applies to some of China’s most exciting FinTech firms”, he added.

Mr. Guangwei Pan commented:

As the economic powerhouse of the UAE, the first Arab state of the Persian Gulf that built a strategic partnership with China, Dubai is a perfect place for Chinese banks to tap into the MEASA markets and work with local institutions in Belt and Road Initiative. This reciprocal MoU identified numerous areas in which the two entities can work together, such as Fintech, trainings and regulatory information sharing. As China is opening its door wider and recently launched more favourable policy for foreign financial institutions, this MoU comes just at the right time, further benefiting the UAE’s financial institutions for their development in China.

DIFC is home to the regional headquarters of China’s four largest banks in terms of total assets; ICBC, China Construction Bank, Bank of China, and Agricultural Bank of China. These banks manage and oversee investments across Africa, Central Europe and the Middle East through the internationally-recognised platform of DIFC.

Earlier this month, DIFC has received a high-profile delegation from the People’s Government of the Hubei Province in China to discuss collaboration opportunities as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The parties also explored new areas of growth that would be of interest and benefit to Chinese institutions based in the Centre.

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