(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Chinese companies have expressed their keen interest in setting up their base of operations in Dubai, according to a top official of Jafza.
Deputy chief executive and chief commercial officer Jafza and Economic Zones World Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi said a number of Chinese companies are willing to set up their base of operations, specifically at Jafza and Technopark.
"China is a key trading partner of Dubai, and is Jafza's largest trading partner. Jafza and Chinese companies enjoy a very strong bond, which will be further strengthened as a result of our recent meetings," he said.
Al Janahi was leading talks as the head of a Jafza delegation to Shanghai, which also participated in Automechanika Shanghai 2013 last week. The Jafza delegation also included Khalid Ahmed Al Marzooqi, senior manager for the Asia-Pacific region; Saood Al Khloofi, manager for the MEA region; and Jeffery Xl Yu, executive for the Asia-Pacific region, Jafza sales.
The Jafza team also visited a number of major Chinese industrial units, and met the officials at the Shanghai Free Zone and held successful talks on mutual cooperation and investment opportunities.
"Trade between the UAE and China has seen constant growth in the past years, with approximately 60 per cent of China's total trade passing through the UAE for re-export. In 2013, total UAE-China trade is expected to be around 42 billion to 43 billion," Al Janahi said.
He also briefed Chinese investors on the investment opportunities and the facilities available at Technopark, as well as its value proposition.
There are more than 170 major Chinese companies operating in the free zone in various sectors. Jafza-China trade at 11 billion in 2012 is roughly 14 per cent of Jafza's total trade of 82 billion last year.
Speaking about Jafza's participation in Automechanika Shanghai, Al Marzooqi said the Chinese car spare parts market is one of the largest in the world with an average growth rate of approximately 23 per cent year on year.
"There was tremendous interest in Jafza at the exhibition, and we met with over 250 companies during the four days."
"Jafza's unsurpassed logistics infrastructure, coupled with the location and access to a market of over two billion people in the greater Mena region, is one of the key reasons companies from all around the world are interested in Dubai," he said.
Automechanika Shanghai is Asia's largest show for auto parts, accessories, equipment and services. Over 90 per cent of the companies in the show were of Chinese origin, and Jafza had the distinct privilege of representing both Dubai and the UAE, being the only UAE government organisation exhibiting. Jafza also promoted Dubai's status as the Host City for World Expo 2020 and highlighted the economic boost that Expo 2020 will provide to Jafza companies, Dubai and the region.
Jafza is currently home to more than 500 automotive companies which includes global names such as Honda, Nissan, Ford, GM, Daimler & Chrysler, Caterpillar, Mobis and Schaeffler, among others. The sector in Jafza generated trade worth 4.2 billion in 2012. In the last 10 years, the number of firms in the sector has grown seven-fold. There are more than 7,100 of the world's finest companies operating out of Jafza. These companies cater to the entire Middle East region from their respective regional headquarters in the free zone.