China-Arab States Expo to boost cooperation with B&R countries

By Zhang Hongpei Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/2 20:23:39

The 2017 China-Arab States Expo will focus on enterprises and is set to create more opportunities for economic and trade cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, according to a Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) press conference held on Friday.

The expo will be held from September 6 to 9 in Yinchuan, capital of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Wang Heshan, vice chairman of Ningxia, said at the press conference.

As a global exposition sponsored by MOFCOM, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and Ningxia government, the expo has been successfully held twice since 2010, Wang said, noting that the second expo in 2015 saw the signing of agreements on 241 projects with combined investment of 183.04 billion yuan ($26.84 billion).

Ningxia is actively promoting and implementing the B&R initiative through the construction of Silk Road on land, air as well as the Internet to enhance the opening-up and become a strategic pivot in China-Arab cooperation, Wang said.

In 2016, Ningxia's trade value reached 23.5 billion yuan, with an average growth rate of 16.8 percent in the past five years, and contracted foreign investment in the province reached $250 million, up 36 percent year-on-year, according to Wang.

"Ningxia has an advantageous location to communicate with the Arab countries and could explore more business opportunities based on their affinity in culture and religion," Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Friday.

It is important to take advantage of Ningxia to strengthen trade and economic cooperation with Arab countries, which can be extended to West Asia, North Africa and Europe, Bai noted.

The 2017 Expo will thoroughly carry out the spirit of the B&R Forum that was held in May in Beijing, and invite countries and regions along the B&R routes including Indonesia, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and others, with Egypt as the guest of honor, according to Wang.

"As an extensive platform, the expo will help enhance understanding and resource allocation between China and Arab countries," according to Bai.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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