China, Arab world working on new Silk Road (2)

19:57, May 13, 2010      

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The global financial crisis which broke out in the summer of 2008 has dealt a heavy blow to the world economy, in which China and the Arab countries also suffered serious shocks.

Arab business leaders said in April 2009 at the Dubai International Financial Seminar that Arab countries lost 2.5 trillion dollars in foreign investment.

In addition, the fall in international oil prices and sluggish internal financial markets have caused Arab countries more than 600 billion dollars.

In face of the financial crisis, China and the Arab countries expressed their determination to tide over the difficulties with joint efforts.

Chinese President Hu Jintao vistited Saudi Arabia in February 2009 and called for strengthening coordination and coorperation between China and member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the financial area.

He also encouraged two-way investment as a way to respond to the challenges of the international financial crisis.

During the third China-Arab entrepreneur conference two months later in Hangzhou, China, the participants stressed the need to work together to address the challenges and seek development.

Through joint efforts, the two sides effectively stopped the trade and investment downturn and established closer trade and economic ties.

According to official statistics, the trade volume between China and the Arab countries retreated in 2009 because of the impact of the global financial crisis but still reached some 110 billion dollars.

Althouth the two sides have not yet escaped the impact of the global financial crisis, they have embarked on the road to recovery.

Ben Simpfendorfer, the chief economist of the Royal Bank of Scotland on China, wrote a book called "The New Silk Road" in 2009 to illustrate the links between the Arab countries and China under the new circumstances.

Simpfendorfer said the trade has become the main motivation of the development of bilateral relations, and a new Silk Road makes the China-Arab ties much closer.

There is no doubt that the upcoming fourth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum will inject new impetus into the trade and economic cooperation between China and the Arab countries and will provide a rare chance for observers to look into China-Arab ties.
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