Abu Dhabi Ports signs pact to enhance trade, attract investments

The agreement signed with China Council for the Promotion of International Trade is aimed at strengthening trade tie

A ship is offloaded at Khalifa Port in Kizad, Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Ports *** Local Caption ***  bz18ma-kizad-01.jpg

Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer that runs the emirate's $7 billion Khalifa Port, signed an agreement with China to explore commercial opportunities with Chinese firms looking to establish a presence in the emirate.

The agreement, signed with China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, is aimed at strengthening trade ties between the two countries and will also help Chinese businesses interested in investing in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone (KPFTZ), the port operator said in the statement on Saturday.

“We are confident this MoU will mark yet a new turning point and anticipate new and fruitful partnerships for both our countries,” Abdulla Al Hameli, an executive vice president at the company said. “A spirit of collaboration and the values of mutual respect and ambition have always driven our strategy at Abu Dhabi Ports.”


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Last year Abu Dhabi Ports signed a 50-year agreement with the Chinese Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company (JOCIC), under which JOCIC will develop around 23.7 million square feet of Kizad for companies from Jiangsu Province. Container volumes in 2019, are expected to double the 1.5m twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) handled in 2017 once China’s Cosco Shipping Ports completes construction of its $700m container terminal at Khalifa Port. Cosco, which signed a 35-year concession agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports in 2016, broke ground on the terminal last month.

The latest agreement with China follows a similar MoU with Russia’s Trade and Economic Development Council to raise awareness about investment opportunities in Kizad and KPFTZ.

The port operator is also courting Indian businesses to set up shop in its free trade zone, as it looks to capitalise on strong trade links with Asia's third-largest economy, Mohamed Al Shamisi, the chief executive of Abu Dhabi Ports, told The National in December. UAE-India bilateral trade for 2016 reached $50bn, including oil, and is projected to grow by around 6 per cent per year for the next two years.