China and Arab states stepped up to tap potentials from China-Arab expo by Muhammad Zamir Assadi


Beijing, June 2 : China has stepped up to tap potentials and make achievements from upcoming China-Arab states expo set to be held in Ningxia this September, said vice minister for commerce and trade Qian Keming at a huge press briefing on Friday.

While addressing to media about the previous achievements and future potentials covering China-Arab trade from the expo, vice minister said that both sides are vital economic and trade cooperation partners to each other enjoying stable friendship.

He told that, in 2016 China and Arab states trade volume totaled 171.14 billion US dollars decreased by 15.6 % compared with that of the previous year.

China’s direct non-financial investment in Arab countries amounted to 1.15 billion USD, an increase of 75 % while Arab states direct investment in China reached 67 million US dollars.

In recent years, due to decrease of bulk commodity price especially that of crude oil, China-Arab trade, Arab countries investment in China and other cooperation have been scaled down to certain degrees however now Arab states are now actively advancing economic restructuring and accelerating diversification which highly fits with the spirit of “ Belt and Road” initiative, Qian went on saying.

He said that OBOR initiative has become a common concern and won active responses from Arab countries as over 20 ministers from 13 Arab countries also attended OBOR summit in Beijing.

Under the guidelines of trade connectivity proposed by Belt and Road initiative, China will further facilitate trade and investment cooperation, advance the construction of China-GCC free trade zone, said Qian.

He also added that China-Arab states expo has played an active role as an important platform to advance OBOR initiative.

In 2016, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at Arab league headquarters and pointed put that the expo has become an important platform for the joint efforts to build Belt and Road, said vice minister.

In the briefing, vice governor of Ningxia Hui autonomous region Wang Heshan said that GDP of the province was recorded 8.1% in the last year, 1.4 % higher than the national level.

Provincial foreign trade volume reached 23.5 billion yuan, an average growth rate of 16.8 % over the past five years while the foreign investment in contractual use amounted to 250 million USD up by 36 %.

Integrating into “Belt and Road” initiative and expanding opening up to the outside has greatly promoted the economic and social development of Ningxia.

He added that the province will full pay to mechanism of joint hosting by China and Arab states, collaborated organization by relevant ministries and Ningxia government and wide participation of private sectors.

At the briefing, vice chairman of China council for the promotion of international trade Wang Jinzhen said that various manners to promote exchanges and cooperation between two sides were being taken.

The conference was having the theme “Towards integrated development by innovating model of cooperation” in which more than 600 government officials and business delegates from China and Arab states as well as from countries along the OBOR will attend the forum.