Global ports operator DP World and a Chinese commodities trading company signed an agreement to build a trading cluster at the Jebel Ali free zone, the Middle East's largest, topping off a slew of UAE-China deals this week.
The Dubai-based company and Zhejiang China Commodities City Group will build the "Traders Market" next to the Dubai Expo 2020 site, DP World said in an emailed statement on Thursday. It will include clusters of global traders in sectors ranging from household goods, building materials and food and beverage, to cosmetics, healthcare, energy and technology.
"Dubai and China have a long-standing trading history and it’s essential that we develop the movement of goods in tandem with the growing needs of consumers," Sultan bin Sulayem, chairman and chief executive of DP World said. "Initiatives such as these will create the trade hubs and seamless supply chain opportunities needed to capitalise on global economic growth."
The agreement is the latest in a series of UAE-China business deals announced this week amid a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the country. China is Dubai’s biggest trading partner, with total bilateral trade reaching Dh176.5 billion last year. China is looking to expand its international trade partnerships amid an escalating trade war with its US economic rival that culminated in tit-for-tat retaliatory tariffs.
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The ‘Traders Market’ will help Chinese, local and international manufacturers capitalise on Dubai’s strategic location as a business and trade hub, DP World said. It will also enable trade within the GCC, Middle East, Africa and India Subcontinent, widening market reach for goods and serving as a platform to trade at competitive prices.
The agreement is another step to promote the Chinese government’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The partnership follows an agreement that was signed earlier this year between DP World and the Zhejiang Seaport Investment and Operation Group (ZPG) for a ‘Straight-through Warehouse’ project in Yiwu, China – which is the world's largest wholesale market for small commodities – for a warehouse that will hold cargo destined for Dubai and the Middle East.
The projects aim to boost trade between the UAE and China by offering Chinese businesses DP World’s logistics facilities, including cargo handling at their terminals in China and Jebel Ali Port , warehousing facilities in the neighbouring Jebel Ali Free Zone, one-stop customs clearance facilities and trade licenses.