China’s CICC plans to expand in Saudi Arabia, UAE

China International Capital Corp (CICC) is exploring expansion plans in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as part of China’s president, Xi Jinping’s efforts to strengthen Chinese ties in the Gulf region, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

The bank has set up two offices, and is working on obtaining necessary licenses to commence its financial services activities, said Barry Chan, CICC’s Asia and Australia head.

“We want to show our commitment that we are in this region for the long haul, instead of flying in-and-out for several days carrying a suitcase, CICC wants to build an ongoing relationship with countries in the Arab world,” Chan added.

Bonds between China and the Gulf region have been vitalised in the past months with the current political and economic developments.

Saudi Arabia has agreed to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a security union that includes Iran and Russia, in late March, the SCO is considered a geopolitical counterweight to the US and Western powers.

The UAE has completed a China’s national energy trade platform transaction, with China finalising its first yuan-settled energy deal involving 65,000 tons of Emirati liquefied natural gas.

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