In the latest indication of the growing political and economic links between Beijing and countries in the oil-rich Gulf region, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a multi-billion dollar currency swap deal. The swap, valued at RMB35bn ($5.5bn), is the latest in a string of currency deals China has agreed to with foreign nations. It is effective for three years and will allow the central banks to draw on the local currency facility to ease bilateral trade. The announcement, which came as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the UAE for the first time as part of a three country tour of Gulf oil states, acts as both a political statement to bolster China’s ties to the UAE, and a pragmatic measure to increase business with the Gulf’s regional trade hub.
Source: People’s Daily, January 18, 2012