Business representatives from China and Arab countries expressed their will to expand trade cooperation during a forum that closed in Hangzhou Wednesday.
Ahmed A. Goueli, Secretary-General of the Council of Arab Economic Unity, told the third Sino-Arab Cooperation Forum that China and Arab countries were both at critical phases of development and should rise to the challenge of the global financial crisis together.
Vice Chairman Yu Ping of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade foresaw "strong growth potential" in bilateral trade.
The two agreed that banks and investment companies should be allowed a much bigger presence in each other's economies, while small and medium-sized companies that helped reduce unemployment and poverty should be given preferential treatment.
More than 800 people attended the two-day meeting where cooperation projects involving a total of 1.5 billion yuan (about 220 million U.S. dollars) were discussed.
The projects covered a range of industries including machinery, electronics, engineering and construction, tourism, agriculture, textiles and energy and chemicals.
Trade between China and Arab countries jumped from 36.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2004, when the forum was launched, to 132.8 billion U.S. dollars last year.