China’s Grid Giant sets up office in Dubai International Financial Centre

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Arif Amiri with Chengzhong Liang in Dubai on Monday.

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the largest utility company in the world, has expanded its presence in the region by setting up in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. This is the first office the Chinese state-owned electric utility corporation has set up in the UAE.

The newly established entity will support the region in advancing its energy transition with a focus on electricity transmission and distribution with investment, construction and operation of power grids as its core business. SGCC has successfully invested in utilities in Oman as well as internationally in Italy, Portugal, Greece and the Philippines, in addition to operating backbone energy networks in Brazil, Australia and Chile. The total overseas investments amount to $23.2 billion and its overseas equity capital is approximately $65 billion. Furthermore, the UAE and China have long-standing relations and share a strategic vision to cooperate in energy, technology, the green economy and the digital economy.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said: “DIFC continues to attract companies from across the world who can contribute to our future economic growth, including China’s State Grid who have now established their presence in the Centre. Through the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, the country is investing heavily in renewable energy to safeguard the future for generations to come. China’s State Grid, the world’s largest utility company, is in a strong position to support the country and the wider region to realise these ambitions.”

“Establishing our presence in DIFC marks a very important milestone for us to expand our presence in the Middle East market, especially in the GCC countries, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which are in key stages of energy transition,” said Chengzhong Liang, Chief Representative of SGCC Middle East Representative Office. “Renewables are increasingly playing a significant role in the energy mix, and governments in the region have reiterated their commitment to decarbonisation. New and advanced renewable technologies are welcomed and widely utilised in innovative projects today. We, at SGCC, believe that we are in a unique position to contribute to the regional energy transition and capacity building efforts, particularly in the field of electricity transmission and distribution, and we are keen to work closely with local authorities and companies for a more sustainable future.”

Guangyao Zhou, Secretary General of the Chinese Business Council in the UAE, added: “Congratulations to SGCC for its successful establishment in the UAE. As one of the biggest energy companies in China and around the world, SGCC has a strong record of investing in the Gulf region and internationally. We sincerely hope that SGCC, together with other Chinese companies in the UAE, will contribute more to the strengthening of economic ties between China and the UAE.”

As a long-term industry investor, SGCC upholds the concept of sustainable development and adheres to long-term, localised and market-oriented operations. Relying on local management teams, the grid giant strengthens technical exchanges and cooperation, actively fulfils its corporate social responsibilities, promotes local employment and spares no effort to create economic, social and environmental benefit for local communities.

In 2022, SGCC was ranked the third largest company in terms of revenue on the Fortune Global 500, after Walmart and Amazon. SGCC has the same credit rating as China’s sovereign rating (Standard & Poor’s A+, Moody’s A1, and Fitch A+). It has also been ranked the first in both Utilities 50 and China’s 500 Most Valuable Brands.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s most advanced financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and an estimated GDP of USD 7.7 trillion.

With an 18-year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Centre connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe and the Americas through Dubai.

DIFC is home to an internationally recognised, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework, as well as the region’s largest financial ecosystem of almost 30,000 professionals working across over 3,600 active registered companies – making up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region.

The Centre’s vision is to drive the future of finance through cutting-edge technology, innovation, and partnerships. Today, it is the global future of finance and innovation hub offering one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulation, innovative accelerator programmes, and funding for growth-stage start-ups.

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