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Dubai Food Park, China firm sign Dh1.35B deal.

Summary: Project will ultimately comprise six major components

Dubai Food Park on Saturday said it signed a Dh1.35 billion investment agreement with Ningxia Forward Fund Management Company to build a China-UAE Food Industrial cluster in Dubai - a strategic agreement that will significantly consolidate China's stake in the burgeoning Middle East food industry and further expand bilateral relations.

Abdulla Belhoul, chief executive officer of Dubai Wholesale City, and a representative from Ningxia Forward Fund Management Company signed the agreement on the sidelines of the third edition of the China-Arab States Expo in China's northwest autonomous region Ningxia's capital Yinchuan.

Spanning an area of 4.38 million square feet, the China-UAE Food Industrial cluster will be home to 30 food plants, including two Chinese catering companies and two advanced manufacturing plants for food packaging materials. The project is scheduled for hand over 24 months from date of commencing its construction.

The project will ultimately comprise six major components: meals processing, packaged food processing, cold chain storage, production of food packages, e-commerce and commodities exhibition and bio-safety disposal of wastewater and wastes.

Abdulla Al Habbai, chairman of Dubai Holding said: "Through this new synergy, we aspire to cement long-standing relations with China to ensure the sustainable development of both our countries."

China's non-financial foreign investment increased by 352 per cent in the first nine months of 2017, compared to the same period last year. The number of Chinese companies registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy has also exceeded 4,000 to date in 2017.

Dubai Holding launched Dubai Food Park in July 2017 in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The first-of-its-kind in the region, DFP is expected to build on Dubai's position as a leading regional hub for foodstuffs and food re-export.

Belhoul said this agreement comes at an important time, given the urgent global need to enhance collaboration on food security through increasing the physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food.

"The partnership marks a step forward into strengthen bilateral relations at various levels, particularly trade and economic relations between the UAE and China."

A spokesperson from Ningxia Forward Fund Management Company said: "This agreement goes a long way in boosting China's economic synergies with the UAE that is already our leading trade partner in the region. Such agreements help us meet the objectives of China's Belt and Road initiative, and create large-scale employment opportunities and trade benefits for the world's nations."

- business@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Sep 9, 2017
Words:440
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