By Gemma Bradley, Marketing Executive
After a long flight to Beijing, having left Dubai at 4am, Managing Partner Ali Al Zarooni, Partner Areen Jayousi, and myself arrived in China weary but excited to be there and begin the preparations for our upcoming seminar. The evening was spent with one of our most prominent and long-term Chinese clients, Jayu, who introduced us to amazing authentic Chinese food and took us on a tour of the city.
Our first full day in Beijing began with an early meeting with partners from Dentons, it was a great start to the trip where we discussed not only our shared interest in future cooperation but also common ground when it comes to the Chinese and Arab cultures. A very interesting meeting, which ended with a tour of their large offices and a look at the impressive eco-friendly area, which despite being indoors had a fantastic outdoor feel.
After lunch and battling the Beijing traffic we arrived at the offices of Sinosure, a China export and credit insurance corporation – again another excellent meeting, with some very interesting discussions surrounding their interests in the MENA region.
Day two was our seminar day, however before we could set up the partners had a meeting with local law firm Zhonglun W&D. It was a quick dash afterwards to get to the offices of East & Concord Partners who were hosting our afternoon seminar ‘Investments and Company Incorporations in the UAE’.
The seminar was organised by East & Concord and the excellent turnout of attendees included their partners, many clients and lawyers of various local law firms in the area. The topics discussed included an explanation of onshore and offshore companies, the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Law, which incidentally the Chinese Government has also recently established, and the new visa rules. Attendees were particularly interested in the FDI Law and the new extended visas which has an extremely positive impact on their investment opportunities in the UAE. Afterwards, Horizons & Co partners met with East & Concord partners for a productive discussion regarding cooperation between our firms in the future.
Our final day in Beijing began with a meeting with KMPG, one of the big four auditors, and ended with another local law firm Merits & Tree whereby the partners had an excellent discussion on TMT law and how we our firms can collaborate in the future.
From there we went straight to the airport to catch our flight to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong we caught up with some clients and visited the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), where the partners met with representatives of the HKIAC and began the process of becoming registered arbitrators in the region.
The trip to Beijing and Hong Kong was a great success and extremely worthwhile for Horizons & Co as a firm, we reconnected with some of our Chinese clients and meet potential new clients to discuss several cases with regards to their projects and investments in the GCC and wider MENA region.
The help in organising the logistics and the seminar has been greatly appreciated and we would like to thank East & Concord Partners and Jayu for their assistance. We look forward to working with the many firms and organisations the partners met and continuing the relationships built during the trip and looking forward to returning to China in the very near future.