UAE, Hong Kong sign investment promotion agreement


UAE, Hong Kong sign investment promotion agreement

Published: Mon 17 Jun 2019, 5:08 PM

Last updated: Fri 28 Jun 2019, 2:59 PM

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has signed an agreement to encourage and protect investments between the UAE and the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), as part of the ministry's efforts to protect the nation's investments abroad and attract foreign investments.
The agreement was signed by Younis Al Khoori, undersecretary of the MoF and Dr. Bernard Chan, undersecretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Hong Kong, in the presence of officials from both sides.
Commenting on the agreement, Younis Al Khoori highlighted the importance of investment protection and promotion agreements given their pivotal role in attracting foreign investments and enhancing the UAE's competitiveness levels. These agreements are also in line with the country's national development goals, and will help in diversifying Gross National Income (GNI) sources, as well as bolstering the UAE's investments abroad.
"The signing of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between the UAE and Hong Kong creates a conducive investment environment that provides guaranteed growth, expansion and protection of investments. Additionally, this agreement will strengthen the investment partnership between the two countries, and will encourage government, semi-government and private sectors to forge mutually beneficial relationships," Al Khoori said.
A high-level joint business and professional mission from China and Hong Kong has congregated in Dubai for a two-day business programme that focused on cooperation and investment opportunities in the UAE. The mission, co-organised by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of the HKSAR and the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, comprised of 70 investors and services professionals from the Mainland China and Hong Kong. Delegates include those with an interest and expertise in the areas of finance, consultancy, architecture, energy, civil engineering and construction, legal and accounting, transportation and logistics, and various other sectors.
Led by Sun Tong, director general, Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs, Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, the delegation met with senior officials from the Ministry of Economy of the UAE, the Department of Economic Development of the Government of Dubai and the Dubai Investment Development Agency to learn more the latest development and opportunities in the country. The delegates also visited the Jebel Ali Free Zone and the site of Expo 2020 Dubai and met with various local companies to explore the potential for cooperation.
Stephen Liang, assistant executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), which is a supporting organisation of the mission, highlighted Hong Kong's role as the bridge connecting Mainland China with the rest of the world, including the Middle East, with about 60 per cent of the mainland's outbound investments going to or through Hong Kong. "Hong Kong is a provider of quality services to underpin Belt and Road-related developments. These include the financing of infrastructure and construction projects, and the provision of a range of professional services - including due diligence, accounting and insurance, project management, risk management and dispute resolution," Liang said.
The UAE is Hong Kong's largest economic partner in the Middle East and the 18th biggest in the world. The UAE's exports to Hong Kong reached $4.3 billion in 2018, compared to $3.9 billion in 2014, while the UAE's imports from Hong Kong stood at $6 billion between 2014-2018. Jewellery accounted for 28.1 per cent of the UAE's exports to Hong Kong, while pearls and precious stones accounted for 33 per cent of imports. From a Mainland China perspective, the UAE is increasingly seen as a sound place for investment, spurred by the growing number of Belt and Road projects in this region. The mainland's cumulative foreign direct investment in the UAE amounted to almost $5.4 billion at the end of 2017, with a lot more projects in the pipeline.

By Staff Report

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