|By Arabian Posst Staff| Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) CEO Tony Douglas and Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company Limited (JOCIC) Chairman Luo Hua inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a strategic partnership during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s three-day state visit to the United Arab Emirates.
The two sides plan to cooperate on a wide range of areas in order to better support the development of the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Park (China-UAE Industrial Park) in Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi, including air logistics, procurement, mutual promotion on respective premises and digital channels.
The MoU envisages that EAG will provide the companies investing in the China-UAE Industrial Park with preferred air transportation and cargo rates on the routes and services between China and other cities on Etihad Airways entire network. JOCIC and the companies of the China-UAE Industrial Park also designate Etihad Airways as their preferred airline.
Under the agreement, EAG and JOCIC, the management company of the China-UAE Industrial Park, will jointly explore marketing opportunities through appropriate promotional channels in China and the UAE to promote the China-UAE Industrial Park, Abu Dhabi’s friendly investment environment for Chinese companies as well as Abu Dhabi’s unique geographic advantages and Etihad Airways’ convenient network, which supports China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
In addition, EAG will enjoy special rates on the products produced and manufactured by Chinese companies at the China-UAE Industrial Park.
Tony Douglas, Etihad Aviation Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “China is a strategically important market for Etihad. We feel extremely honored to forge such a strategic partnership with JOCIC so as to serve the development of the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Park, and better foster the Chinese companies within the Industrial Park.”
“The partnership will demonstrate the long-standing commitment of Etihad, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, to acting as a bridge for economic and cultural exchanges between the UAE and China, as well as to strengthen the position of Abu Dhabi as an aviation hub to connect China with the economies along the Belt & Road Initiative by leveraging our strong global network,” Mr. Douglas continued. “It also exemplifies our pivotal role in the Abu Dhabi government’s plan to strengthen the infrastructure and transport sectors in Abu Dhabi, in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.” “This is only the beginning. We look forward to making more contributions to the project,” Mr. Douglas added.
Luo Hua, Chairman of Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company, said: “The China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Park is a major project under the Belt and Road Initiative. It represents an important consensus reached by the leadership of China and the UAE to strengthen international industrial capacity cooperation between the two countries.
“We look forward to working closely with Etihad Aviation Group by leveraging its diversification of business, convenient network and innovation advantages to drive the continued success of the China-UAE Demonstration Park,” added Chairman Luo.
Established in July 2017, with a 50-year agreement signed between Abu Dhabi Ports and JOCIC, the China-UAE Industrial Park has successfully achieved investment agreements with 16 Chinese companies, totaling US$1 billion in value. The Chinese companies investing in the Industrial Park come from various sectors, including new energy sources, aluminum processing, machinery manufacturing, trade and logistics, metallurgy, building materials, chemicals, packaging, and food and beverages.
In May 2018, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) also signed an MoU with JOCIC to establish a comprehensive financial service platform to better integrate financial resources to service the development of the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Demonstration Park. The Industrial Park aims to become a major window and platform for China’s investment and trade cooperation with countries in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Etihad Airways currently operates daily flights between Abu Dhabi and China’s four main gateways — Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hong Kong.