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DIFC Notes Growing Presence Of Chinese Firms

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
03 March, 2016

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a free zone in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said on February 29, 2016, that it has seen exponential growth in the presence of Chinese financial firms and state-owned banks in recent years.

According to the Centre's 2015 full-year Operating Review results, Chinese banks in the DIFC have doubled their balance sheet in the last 18 months.

Representing 26 percent of the total assets booked in the DIFC, China's top four state-owned banks – Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, ICBC, and China Construction Bank – have combined total assets of USD21.5bn, the Centre said.

Commenting on the growing importance of Chinese firms at the DIFC, Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, said: "We are committed to building long-lasting partnerships with the emerging Chinese market. Contributing to a large portion of our business activity, we envisage an increasingly significant role for Chinese firms as we seek to become a leading global financial hub."

The bilateral trade between China and the UAE in 2015 was expected to reach USD60bn compared to USD47.6bn in trade volumes in 2014, according to the DIFC.

The DIFC offers firms zero percent income tax guaranteed for 50 years, 100 percent foreign ownership, no exchange controls, and a legal system based on English common law.

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