DUBAI, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Dubai's Multi Commodities Center (DMCC), the largest free zone in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is counting on rising UAE-China relations for further expansion.
"The DMCC's collaboration and partnerships with international entities such as the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone further underpin the DMCC's drive to boost commodity trade along the West to the East corridor - connecting directly with China's Belt and Road initiative," Krysta Fox, Executive Director of DMCC Free Zone, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.
Located in the skyscraper district of Jumeirah Lake Towers, the DMCC is the UAE's largest and fastest growing Free Zone with over 12,900 member companies.
"There are over 150 thriving Chinese businesses in the DMCC today including Hisense (a multi-national white goods and electronics manufacturer), Sinopec (China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation) and CSCEC (China State Construction Engineering Corporation)," Fox said.
Earlier in October 2016, A high-level DMCC delegation visited the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone "to explore how we can best collaborate to benefit both Shanghai and Dubai," Fox pointed out.
Several agreements were signed between the DMCC and Chinese entities in 2016, and the DMCC, the Free Zone where licensed firms enjoy a 50-year-tax-holiday and 100 percent capital repatriation, has high hopes regarding further expanding its footprint in 2017.
Also in 2016, The DMCC announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Silver Group, China's largest silver producer.
In addition, the Bank of China announced it became a settlement bank on the DGCX (Dubai's Gold & Commodities Exchange), the derivatives market for commodities and currencies within the DMCC.
During the Dubai promotional Week in China in October 2016, the DMCC signed three MoUs in Shanghai.
"Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the UAE in 1984, both countries have built and continue to deepen bilateral ties," said Fox.
"China is Dubai's top trading partner and with a strong representation of Chinese businesses in the DMCC already. We see how businesses thrive and grow in a Free Zone environment on a daily basis."
According to UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Al-Mansouri, the UAE's over 40 Free Zones account for over 30 percent of the country's non-oil trade and are instrumental in diversifying the national economy.
As a major oil supplier, the UAE is also the most diversified economy in the Arab world.