Chinese companies move to Abu Dhabi industrial zone

Seagulls fly over the city skyline in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in this file photo. (AP)
Updated 31 July 2017
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Chinese companies move to Abu Dhabi industrial zone

LONDON: Five Chinese companies will start operations in Abu Dhabi’s industrial zone with an initial investment of $300 million in a boost for the oil-rich emirate’s economic diversification plans.
The companies, from Jiangsu province on China’s east coast, are involved in sectors ranging from power and metals to natural resources and banking, Abu Dhabi officials said.
Chinese companies are increasingly seizing opportunities in the Gulf as the Asian economic giant seeks to expand overseas with its ambition to rebuild Silk trade routes.
Abu Dhabi Ports has signed a 50-year agreement with the Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation & Investment Company (JOCIC) to take a lease on 2.2 square km (0.8 square miles) at the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), Mohamed Juma Al-Shamisi, chief executive of Abu Dhabi Ports, told Reuters.
JOCIC will in turn sign separate agreements with the five Chinese companies, he said.
The firms are Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, Jiangsu Fantai Mining Development (Group) Co. Ltd, Xuzhou Jianghe Wood Co, Jiangsu Jinzi Environmental Technology Co. and Guangzheng Group.
Abu Dhabi Ports Co. manages Kizad as well as the ports in the emirate.
“The foreign direct investment into industry will contribute positively to Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP and help in diversifying the economy from oil,” Al-Shamisi said.
Last year, China’s Cosco Shipping Ports Limited won a 35-year concession to build and operate a new container terminal at Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Cosco, at the time said it planned to invest over $700 million.
The UAE and China also set up a joint strategic investment fund worth $10 billion in late 2015, financed equally by both countries. The lease agreement is the biggest yet signed at Kizad which has a total area of 100 square kilometers, Al-Shamisi added.

Jiangsu province is one of China’s major exporters and the agreement is aimed at accelerating trade between China and the UAE, reflecting China’s “Belt and Road” and “Maritime Silk Road” initiatives.

Kizad, which opened in 2012, had attracted investments of around 55 billion dirhams ($15 billion) by the end of last year from countries including Brazil, India, Japan and Britain in industries ranging from food, metals, pharmaceuticals, aluminum and logistics, Al-Shamisi said.

China is the UAE’s second largest trading partner and the biggest exporter to the UAE. The UAE is considered a gateway to about 60 percent of China’s exports to regional markets at an annual volume of exchange worth $70 billion, a statement from Abu Dhabi Ports said.

— Reuters


Egypt hikes gas prices by up to 75 pct in IMF-backed austerity plan

Updated 21 July 2018
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Egypt hikes gas prices by up to 75 pct in IMF-backed austerity plan

  • The increases follow hikes to fuel, electricity and public transport prices

CAIRO: Egypt said on Saturday it was raising the price of natural gas for home and commercial use by up to 75 percent, the latest move in an IMF-backed austerity program that has left many Egyptians struggling to make ends meet.
The increases follow hikes to fuel, electricity and public transport prices that are part of a $12 billion IMF loan program signed in 2016 that aims to lure back investors and lift the economy battered by political turmoil since 2011.
The government statement published in the Official Gazette said that, effective Aug. 1, the price for consuming up to 30 cubic meters of gas had been set at 0.175 Egyptian pounds ($0.0098) per cubic meter, up from 0.100 pounds.
The price for consuming between 30 and 60 cubic meters was set at 0.250 pounds, up from 0.175 pounds, while consumption of more than 60 cubic meters was set at 0.300 pounds from 0.225 pounds.
The statement did not specify the timeframes over which the consumption levels apply. But officials said they covered the usual billing period, which is monthly in Egypt.
Price hikes under the three-year IMF program helped drive up Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation rate to 14.4 percent in June. Analysts said the impact of cutting energy subsidies was feeding through to the broader economy faster than expected.

($1 = 17.8500 Egyptian pounds)