China, UAE agree to establish RMB clearing hub

The internationalization of the Chinese currency keeps gathering pace, as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China have signed an agreement to establish a clearing hub for the Chinese Yuan or Renminbi, Xinhua reported on Sunday referring to UAE media sources.

This will be the second RMB clearing hub in the Middle East after Qatar launched the first such venue in the spring of 2015.

The report said that the UAE-China agreement was signed while Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan was in China for an official visit earlier in December.

There is no specific date revealed for the start of the hub’s operations.

The UAE and China also renewed a CNY 35 billion currency swap deal during the visit.

The UAE was also included in the RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor scheme (RQFII) and was given a quota of CNY 55 billion.

The trade between China and UAE is rapidly growing. In 2014, China surpassed India to become the biggest trade partner of the UAE as bilateral trade reached nearly $50 billion. According to estimates by government officials, bilateral trade has exceeded $60 billion in 2015.

At present, over 4,000 Chinese firms operate branches in the UAE, including the four biggest Chinese lenders – ICBC, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China. More than 300,000 Chinese citizens reside in the UAE.

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