DP World and its partners are planning to invest $1.9bn in China port terminals in the next five years as part of the push by the UAE and China to enhance trade and economic ties.

“The $1.9bn investment in China is the total investment by all partners in China terminals including DP World for the years from 2015 up to 2020,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to MEED. “Our average equity share is approximately 20 per cent for a number of projects in China.’’ The spokesperson didn’t identify the company’s investment partners.

The port operator, which has a portfolio of more than 65 marine terminals across six continents, owns stakes in three Chinese ports of Qingdao, Tianjin and Yantai, according to company website.

The statement follows earlier remarks made through the twitter account of Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, that said DP World would invest the said amount in China without providing any further details.

The crown prince was on a three-day visit to China, during which several business deals including establishment of a joint investment fund worth $10bn, were announced.

In November, DP World acquired Associated British Ports’ 49 per cent stake in DP World Southampton, making it the sole owner of the port. Under the deal, the company also got an extension in its operating license for the UK port until 2047.

Southampton is the UK’s second largest container terminal, handling more than 1.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units a year. DP World has also acquired Dubai’s Jebel Ali freezone and a terminal in Turkey this year.