Business / Economy

China and UAE sign agreement on setting up $10b investment fund

By Zhang Yunbi and Zhao Yinan (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-15 07:11

China and UAE sign agreement on setting up $10b investment fund

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates, in Beijing, capital of China, Dec 14, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

China and the United Arab Emirates agreed on Monday to set up a major investment cooperation fund, reportedly worth $10 billion, to benefit third parties and the two countries themselves.

After a meeting in Beijing, President Xi Jinping and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on establishing the fund.

Launching the fund will "play an important role in deepening bilateral, pragmatic cooperation", Xi said.

Deng Li, director of the Foreign Ministry's Department of West Asian and North African Affairs, said the fund amounts to $10 billion and will be invested in China, the UAE and third-party markets.

"It is a new type of measure with a vision of the future. ... The program generally eyes energy, infrastructure and high-end sectors," Deng said.

Deng said the two countries have also agreed to boost visa services and to recognize each other's driving licenses.

During the talks, Xi also said China was ready to hold discussions with the UAE on exploring third-party cooperation in Africa.

Xue Qingguo, a professor of Arab studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said that although the UAE is a small country, "China will learn a lot about investing and exploring foreign markets through cooperating with the UAE, and from its financial expertise".

Such teamwork with the UAE is "significant ... to boost China's relationship with the whole Arab community", Xue said.

It will also benefit China's ties with economies along the route of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, as the UAE stands at a "pivotal point" for both strategies, Xue added.

Also on Monday, China's central bank extended a currency swap agreement with the UAE central bank. The agreement is worth 35 billion yuan ($5.4 billion) and will last for three years.

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