ADGM and Adnoc sign pacts with Chinese entities to deepen ties and boost investments

The agreements will also help Chinese and UAE firms to increase their presence in both markets

Abu Dhabi's ADGM has inked four deals with Chinese entities to increase economic cooperation and boost investments. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and state-controlled Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) on Monday signed agreements with key Chinese entities that will help boost bilateral cooperation across the energy value chain and help foster financial ties to increase cross-border investment.

The deals were signed during a visit by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to China.

Both Adnoc and ADGM are part of Sheikh Mohamed’s ministerial delegation currently in Beijing to discuss ways of increasing co-operation between the two countries including fostering deeper financial and economic ties. The state visit follows Chinese President Xi Jinping's July tour of the UAE, when the two countries signed 13 agreements and memorandums of understanding to increase collaboration across sectors.

Adnoc signed a strategic agreement with state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to explore collaboration in both upstream and downstream segments of the oil and gas sector. The agreement covers ultra-sour gas development in Abu Dhabi, exploration for offshore hydrocarbons and the sale and purchase of liquefied natural gas, for which China is the world’s largest buyer, Adnoc said in a statement on Monday.

“The future collaboration opportunities agreed today with CNOOC reinforce Adnoc's strategic approach to partners that offer technology, capital or market access to maximise value from Abu Dhabi’s vast oil and gas resources,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Adnoc group chief executive and UAE Minister of State.

The UAE accounts for 4 per cent of the world’s crude production, much of it from fields owned and operated by Adnoc in Abu Dhabi. China, which imports just under half of its oil from the Middle East, is playing an increasingly prominent role in the exploration and production of hydrocarbon resources in the UAE.

ADGM, one of the fastest growing financial hubs in the Middle East, separately signed four pacts with key Chinese institutions that will help boost cross-border investments and deepen economic and financial ties between the two countries.

ADGM's signing of three agreements with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), and China Everbright Group in Beijing was overseen by Sheikh Mohammed and President Xi.

The financial free zone signed the fourth agreement with OneConnect Financial Technology to foster greater cross-border financial technology (FinTech) opportunities, on the sidelines of the UAE-China Economic Forum in Beijing, ADGM said in a statement.

“These four collaborations underscore the key industries and sector strengths of both China and Abu Dhabi,” Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, UAE Minister of State and chairman of ADGM, said.

“As an international financial centre and ecosystem enabler, ADGM will continue to create sustainable business and investment opportunities between the two countries and support the development of the Belt-and-Road initiative. We look forward to welcoming and working closely with NDRC, CNNC, China Everbright Group, OneConnect Financial Technology and many more Chinese enterprises to anchor their Mena operations in ADGM and Abu Dhabi.”

The four new pacts on Monday are part of ADGM’s efforts to engage key Chinese stakeholders since the establishment of its China representative office in Beijing slightly over a year ago in May 2018.

Under the preliminary agreement signed with NDRC, a macroeconomic management agency under China’s State Council, the two sides will support Chinese and UAE enterprises to establish a presence in the two markets and help them explore possible investment opportunities. NDRC and ADGM also plan to establish a Belt-and-Road investment and financing centre that will support major economic joint projects between China and the UAE.

Under the cooperation agreement with CNNC - one of the largest government-owned firms that has established a complete nuclear technology industry framework - ADGM will help the firm’s globalisation plans. The state-controlled firm will set up its global treasury, investment and financing centre in ADGM.

By anchoring at Abu Dhabi’s financial hub, CNNC plans to foster greater collaboration to support the nuclear energy industry, infrastructure and equipment manufacturing globally, ADGM noted.

China Everbright, one of the largest financial shareholding groups in China with more than 5 trillion renminbi (Dh2.67tn) in assets and listed companies globally, will develop a joint platform with ADGM focused on developing industries, financial and investment fund initiatives, ADGM said. China Everbright will establish its representative office in ADGM and work with the financial hub in expanding its portfolio of businesses across Mena markets.

Through its partnership with OneConnect, AGDM has agreed to support FinTech innovation to create business opportunities in both China and the UAE.

Strategically located along the Belt and Road corridor, an economic initiative to join china with the Middle East and Africa, ADGM remains committed in enhancing the cross-border connectivity and creating new opportunities between the two economies.