Etihad Aviation Group, the parent of Etihad Airways, will support the development of the China-UAE Industrial Park next to Khalifa Port through a strategic agreement with the Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company.
Etihad group chief executive Tony Douglas and JOCIC Chairman Luo Hua inked a Memorandum of Understanding during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s three-day state visit to the UAE, according to Wam.
Last year, Abu Dhabi Ports signed a 50-year agreement with JOCIC to develop about 23.7 million square feet of Khalifa Port's free trade zone, Kizad, for companies from the Chinese province of Jiangsu. Following the deal with Etihad, companies investing in the China-UAE Industrial Park will receive preferential rates on air transport and cargo on routes between destinations in China and other cities on the carrier's network. Etihad and JOCIC will also explore joint marketing opportunities in the UAE and China.
Mr Douglas said that China is a strategically important market for the group and the deal demonstrated Etihad's role connecting "China with the economies along the Belt and Road Initiative". The $4 trillion initiative, launched by Mr Xi in 2013, includes developing trade infrastructure and links between China and its key source markets for energy and commodities.
The China-UAE Industrial Park is a major Belt and Road project, JOCIC chairman Luo Hua said.
Etihad Airways currently operates daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong.