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UAE to cooperate with Hong Kong on fintech, crypto as China ties grow

China’s relations with the UAE and other Gulf states are strengthening, particularly regarding economic and energy matters.
This photo taken on May 27, 2023 shows customers in a cryptocurrency exchange office in Hong Kong. Retail investors in Hong Kong may soon be able to buy popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin at government-licensed exchanges, thanks to new rules meant to bolster the city's standing as a digital asset hub. (Photo by Peter PARKS / AFP) / TO GO WITH HongKong-China-economy-Cryptocurrency,FOCUS by Holmes CHAN (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)

The United Arab Emirates’ Central Bank pledged on Tuesday to expand cooperation with its Hong Kong counterpart, furthering the country's growing ties to China.

The UAE Central Bank and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority held the meeting in Abu Dhabi. The two said they will form a “joint working group” and agreed to strengthen cooperation related to financial infrastructure, financial market connectivity between the UAE and Hong Kong, and virtual assets regulation. The UAE Central Bank and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority also said they facilitated discussions between the Innovation Hub in the UAE and its Hong Kong counterpart, Innovation Hub@HK, on fintech and knowledge exchanges, according to a press release from the UAE Central Bank. 

Innovation Hub@HK was established by the government of Hong Kong in 2022 to showcase the city's research related to science, technology and more. The UAE's Innovation Hub is a partnership with Google that trains youth in technology and was launched in 2018. 

The two central banks also held a meeting on Monday with several banks that have a presence in the UAE and Hong Kong. First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Bank of China and Citi were among the participants, according to the outlet.

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