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UAE, China to collaborate on fintech, AI as part of China's belt and road initiative

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Dubai International Financial Centre has signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s Jiaozi Fintech Dreamworks as part of China’s belt and road economic initiative to collaborate on fintech – including block chain, artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing – the official WAM media reported on Saturday.

The new agreement will enable fintech – financial technology – firms in Dubai and China to access reciprocal markets and create opportunities for mutual development. The memorandum was signed by Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, and Wang Juan, Chairperson of Jiaozi Fintech Dreamworks, which is a fintech innovation and entrepreneurship platform in the China’s Chengdu.

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“Chengdu continues to emerge as a leading financial center in western China and there are vast opportunities for global fintech firms to scale in China. In the same way that DIFC is the gateway to the Middle East, African and South Asia, Chengdu can become the equivalent for accessing China and broader Asia region. Sharing expertise and enabling our FinTech firms to work together presents opportunities and builds a collective force for accelerating the FinTech agenda in Dubai and China,” Amiri said.

China’s expansive belt and road initiative, sometimes referred to as the New Silk Road, is an ambitious infrastructure project launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013 as a collection of development iniatives stretching from East Asia to Europe. The plan included a large network of railways, energy pipelines, highways, and improved border crossings toward the west and through Southeast Asia.

While physical infrastructure is the primary focus of China’s economic development plan, it also seeks to invest in science, education and culture, and technology, the latter of which is part of its digital belt and road.

“This is an attempt to harness ‘big data’ to tackle and solve some of the sustainable development challenges facing the planet. Smart buildings, smart electricity grids, and smart transport logistics would, if successful, help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water needs in BRI-participating economies, a 2018 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report on China’s initiative read.

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The new collaboration in DIFC isn’t the first project the UAE has partnered with China on under the belt and road initiative. China has also invested heavily in the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, in which China bought a 24 percent share in the large-scale solar power projects.

China headed the 700 megawatt Dubai Electricity and Water Authority Concentrated Solar Power (DEWA CSP) project represents the fourth phase of the solar park, which is the largest single-site solar park in the world.