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Ningxia official briefs reporters on China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum

(Xinhua)

16:46, September 16, 2011

BEIJING, Sept. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- Wang Zhengwei, Chairman of the People's Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, briefed reporters on the China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia, on Aug. 25.

Wang said that Ningxia has four advantages to hold the forum.

First, Ningxia is the only provincial-level Hui autonomous region in China.

Second, the Hui people, accounting for 35 percent of the region's population, have a lot in common in religious belief with Muslims in the Arab countries.

Third, Ningxia, situated in central China, enjoys geographical advantages with all of China's provincial capitals being reached within 1,500 km and major cities of Southeast Asia and the Arab countries within 3,000 km. And the Yinchuan-Dubai airline is the most convenient air connection linking China and the Arab countries.

Fourth, Ningxia has hosted five international Muslim foods and products expositions and has reached cooperation agreements with some Southeast Asian and Arab countries, which lay a solid foundation for hosting the China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum.

The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region aims to develop itself into an international manufacturing base of Muslim foods and products for the Arab and Muslim countries in the coming years, according to Wang.

Wang added that Ningxia will provide preferential taxation policies for businesses from the Arab countries and take this opportunity to turn itself into a design, manufacturing, exposition and logistics center facing the Arab and Muslim countries.

Talking about the volatile situation in West Asia and North Africa, Wang said, this will not affect Ningxia's opening drive to the Arab and Muslim countries.

The First China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum last year attracted 923 enterprises from 31 Chinese provinces, cities and autonomous regions, and 66 countries and regions worldwide, with a total worth of signed contacts passing 200 billion yuan RMB.

Apart from the economic benefits, Wang said, the forum will enhance mutual political trust and strengthen economic and trade cooperation and exchanges between China and the Arab countries in the long term.

The Second China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum will also provide a great opportunity for manufacturers and purchasers from home and the Arab countries. Compared with the first forum, the coming event will be more diversified and market-oriented, the chairman said.

Wang also talked about Ningxia's efforts to develop an economic zone alongside the Yellow River. Although the economic zone accounts for 43 percent of Ningxia's total area, its GDP takes up 90 percent of the region. The government will make the economic zone as the region's growth engine to promote its scientific and leapfrog development.

On energy, Wang said, Ningxia enjoys sound momentum in developing both traditional and new energy projects. The government has taken a series of measures to invite enterprises to develop new energy and formulated a plan on tapping wind and solar power.

Developing new energy and chemical engineering bases will not affect, but on the contrary, will promote the region's tourism industry, as these bases are in the remote barren areas and will not pollute the urban areas. Tourists are welcome to these bases to have a look at the modernized coal exploitation and new energy and chemical engineering operation.

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