China’s robust growth in Jafza reflects the world’s second largest economy’s growing interest in the Middle East region for its non-oil exports. Historically, China’s interest in the region was built and driven by oil; nearly a quarter of China’s daily oil requirement is derived from the Middle East’s oil producers.
The global economic downturn has further supported China’s desire to strengthen its presence in the region, particularly when its key markets, the US and Europe, are struggling with debt and economic stagnation.
Ibrahim Al Janahi, Deputy CEO of Jafza, commenting on the new China-Middle East equation through Jafza, said:
“The shift in China’s outlook is evident in growing number of trade visits of Chinese officials and entrepreneurs to the UAE. The import driven and resource rich Middle East region has all the potential that a country like China could look for. Using Jafza’s facilities and logistics capability to serve the entire region most efficiently carries a lot of weight for the Chinese investors and entrepreneurs.”
In the last three months alone five important trade delegations visited Jafza to explore new trade and investment opportunities in the region, including a seven member senior government delegation led by HE Deputy Mayor of Beijing Shunyi District that visited Jafza recently. The delegation was received by Adil Al Zarooni, Senior Vice President, EZW Global Sales, at the Free Zone.
A 35-member trade delegation from the construction industry, many dealing in ceramics, of Foshan in the South of China, visited Jafza last month to explore possibilities to set-up their regional base in Jafza. Prior to this construction industry delegation, a twelve-member delegation from MTBE industry in China had visited Jafza to explore similar possibilities in the Free Zone. They were interested in knowing more about bulk chemicals investment environment and policies in Dubai.
MTBE (Methyl tertiary butyl ether) is used principally as a blending agent in motor gasoline for its oxygen content and high octane value. Demand for MTBE continues to grow in China, Asia, Mexico, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe at a rapid pace. Jafza is home to a large number of multinationals in the oil and petrochemical sector who use the free zone’s outstanding infrastructure and facilities to serve the entire Middle East and Asian markets.
The Chinese MTBE industry delegation was followed by a nine member Chinese delegation from Tianjin Nangang Industrial Zone, led by Wang Qiang, Vice Director General, who sought to establish a mutually beneficial commercial relationship with Jafza. The delegation wished to share experiences and best business practices within both organisations, and also explore opportunities for customers of the two entities in each zone.
Tianjin Nangang Industrial Zone is located in Dagang near Bohai, a region rich in natural resources. It currently possesses more than 850 tons of oil reserves, 78 billion cubic meters of natural gas and has an annual output of 12 million tons of crude oil in Bohai Sea. The two Dagang oil fields located in the industrial zone boast the annual refining capacity of 12.5 million tons.
Tianjin Nangang Industrial Zone has five parks, Petrochemical Industrial Park, Metallurgical Equipment Manufacturing Park, an Integrated Industrial Park, Port logistics Park and Public Works Park. The Industrial Zone is aware that Jafza could be a very efficient springboard for Tianjin companies to enter into the region, which has growing demand for products from all these sectors.
The delegation was received by Dr. Mohammad Al Banna, Vice President, Commercial Sales and Khalid Al Marzooqi, Regional Manager, Asia Pacific, Jafza at the Free Zone. The two sides discussed various opportunities and both saw huge possibilities for strong cooperation between the two entities.
The Tianjin Industrial Zone’s visit was followed by a twenty-two member trade delegation from China, mostly from the electronics sector, to explore business opportunities in the Middle East and Jafza. The delegates represented small and medium enterprises from the sector.
The delegation was received by Khalid Al Marzooqi, Regional Manager, Asia Pacific at the Free Zone. In his detailed presentation Al Marzooqi explained the delegates the strategic importance of Jafza as a hub to serve the entire West Asia, Africa and the CIS markets very efficiently.
Looking at the growing interest of Chinese businesses in the Middle East, Jafza expects significant increase in the number new Chinese companies joining the Free Zone this year. Jafza is currently (end of Q3) home to 130 Chinese enterprises including leading multi-nationals such as SINOPEC Group, Sinochem International, China National Petroleum Corp., CSCEC, and China Railway Engineering Middle East among others.
Tuesday, December 4- 2012 @ 13:39 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.