Emirates NBD, the UAE’s biggest bank, announced that it had inaugurated its first office in China on Tuesday.
The opening of the Beijing Representative Office is part of the lender’s international expansion strategy and will serve as a “liaison point to facilitate and better serve the bank’s clients in their business activities in China and the Middle East,” the bank said in a statement.
Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, ENBD’s vice chairman said: “Over the last decade, China has emerged as one of the Gulf’s most important trade partners, both as a leading energy importer and as the world’s largest exporter.
“Indeed, the Chinese business base in the UAE has witnessed considerable expansion, giving rise to a sizeable Chinese business and resident community.”
Recent studies estimate that trade between the UAE and China has increased 35 per cent annually during the last decade.
China is also the UAE’s second largest trading partner, with trade between the nations reaching $15.6 billion in 2011.
“Growing trade between the GCC states and China has underlined the need for efficient and speedy cross-border financial services, and we are committed to developing and supporting businesses both in China and our home region by leveraging our links in all the markets in which we operate,” said ENBD CEO Rick Pudner.
The Beijing office will initially offer market research and liaison services to customers across both regions.
“The office will also work closely with the Singapore branch covering the Asia pacific region to capture the significant Intra – Asian trade and investment flows,” added James Wu, China representative, ENBD.