(Yicai Global) April 25 -- The number of Chinese companies registering in the Dubai Multi Commodities Center, a free trade zone that serves as a trade, enterprise and commodity hub, has jumped an average 46 percent a year over the past five years, according to its chief executive.
Gautam Sashittal attributes the sharp rise in Chinese registrations to companies seeing Dubai as a bridge between emerging economies and mature markets, through which they can strengthen trade ties with developed countries.
But despite the dramatic increase, just 150 of the 13,500 firms registered at the DMCC are Chinese. Most of the Chinese companies are involved in infrastructure, energy, and trade, suggesting that China still has tremendous scope for investing more in the region.
Chinese companies join the free trade zone because Dubai “serves as the corridor connecting the East with the West along the One Belt, One Road,” Sashittal said at an investor roadshow in Shenzhen yesterday.
Companies that have registered include Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., Power Construction Corporation of China, Hisense Group, China Petrochemical Corporation, China Harbor Engineering Co. and China State Construction Engineering Corporation, he added.
China’s so-called One Belt, One Road initiative is aimed at creating new economic links between Asia, Europe, and Africa. It was unveiled in late 2013 and is often compared with the ancient Silk Road web of trade routes.
Many Chinese companies doing business in Africa have yet to establish a presence in Dubai as the connecting point, Sashittal told Yicai Global, stressing that the situation will change in the future given the city’s ideal location for companies investing in Africa. Furthermore, Dubai is known as a gateway to other parts of the world. It is less than eight hours flying time from most other world cities, he added.
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