DIFC Governor and the CEO of FT discuss East-East investment at FT China-Middle East Summit



  • Argues that Middle East and China must focus on exploring opportunities for increased bilateral trade and investment
  • Says that partnership must extend beyond oil and petrochemicals
  • Addresses high-level audience of Arab, Chinese and international decision-makers at one-day conference held at DIFC

The Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) told a high-level audience of international and regional decision-makers today (January 29) that the Middle East and China must focus on exploring opportunities for increased bilateral trade and investment. His Excellency Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman examined this crucial issue during his welcome address to the participants of the FT China-Middle East Summit, which was held at the DIFC.
In his address, the DIFC Governor said: “China is the third largest exporter in the world, after the US and Germany, according to recent estimates. In its move to cement this growth, China is actively seeking foreign direct investment into several aspects of its economy, including research and development centres, new high-tech industries, advanced manufacturing, energy conservation and environmentally friendly sectors, and agriculture.
He continued: “On this side of the world, the region is home to significant liquidity as a result of the second oil boom and widespread economic diversification. Institutional and individual Middle Eastern investors are on the lookout for investment opportunities outside the region, which will offer them high returns on investment.”
Citing a recent research report by McKinsey, the DIFC Governor added: “Much of the US$250 billion that the GCC states will invest in Asia over the next five years could go to China. Over the same period, Middle Eastern economies are forecast to spend more than $500 billion on major infrastructure projects, agriculture, education, health care and IT, with Chinese companies potentially among the main contractors.
He concluded: “The synergy between China and the Middle Eastern economies is clearly evident from the growing trade between the two regions. We at the DIFC look forward to working closely with individuals and institutions from China to explore a host of business opportunities and grow this relationship further.”
Among those participating in the FT China-Middle East Summit, held at the Dubai International Financial Centre’s Conference and Exhibition Centre, were: David Eldon, Chairman, DIFC Authority; Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, Dubai World; John Ridding, CEO, Financial Times; Dr. Cheng Siwei, Vice Chairman, Standing Committee, National People’s Congress, China; Victor Chu, Chairman, First Eastern Investment Bank; Frederic Sicre, Executive Director, Abraaj Capital; Zhao Shihong, Assistant Governor, Hebei Province, China; Joyshil Mitter, CFO, National Bank of Dubai; and many other decision-makers from the Arab world and China.

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