(KHALIFA AL YOUSEF)
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, met on Monday with Chinese President, Hu Jintao, amid negotiations between the two nations on a broad range of economic initiatives including the formation of a joint UAE-China investment fund.
Talks on bilateral investment and trade are expected to dominate the four-day state visit to China by the vice-president. Sources close to the negotiations said that “three memorandums of understanding and one agreement” will be signed before the end of the trip but that discussions were set to continue on the bigger issues such as the export of Chinese technology to the UAE.
“The Chinese are keen to secure the UAE as its trade and investment gateway to the Middle East and the wider region,” she said, adding that that business was top of the agenda during the visit.
The UAE is also expected to agree on a wide range of investments in China including deals in the property and industrial sectors, the source said speaking from Beijing. Both sides are exploring the possibility of a joint investment fund, the source added.
Further details on the nature or size of the fund were not revealed. Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs), including those from the UAE and China, have played an increasingly influential role in the world financial system. Earlier this year, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority invested $7.5 billion (Dh27.5bn) for a stake in Citibank, the US’s largest financial institution. Assets managed by SWFs worldwide grew 18 per cent last year to $3.3trn.
Mohammed in China for trade talks