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China to strengthen ties with Arab states through deepened economic cooperation

(Xinhua)

16:23, September 22, 2011

YINCHUAN, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to provide financial and technological support for Chinese companies that wish to build infrastructure in Arab states, as well as improve its domestic investment environment for Arabian enterprises, according to a top Chinese official.

Top political advisor Jia Qinglin told officials and entrepreneurs attending the second China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum in Yinchuan, the capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, on Wednesday that China and Arab states should further boost economic cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, energy and infrastructure.

"China is willing to work with Arab states to cement mutual political trust and deepen exchanges in order to achieve mutual benefit and create a 'win-win' situation," said Jia, who chairs the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

He said China will continue to encourage its enterprises to invest in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors of Arab states.

In the meantime, China will further improve its investment environment in order to court Arab enterprises that wish to set up operations in China, Jia said at a conference following the forum's opening ceremony.

BOOMING ECONOMIC EXCHANGES

By the end of 2010, China's accumulated investment in Arab states exceeded 15 billion U.S. dollars, while Arab enterprises' investment in China totaled 2.6 billion dollars, making it one of the fastest growing investment markets for China, Jia said at the conference.

Trade between China and Arab states has also experienced fast growth over the past few years, and the League of Arab States has become China's seventh largest trading partner, Jia said.

Trade volume between China and the Arab League members totaled 145.4 billion dollars in 2010, up 34 percent year-on-year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce.

The full-year trade volume is expected to reach 200 billion dollars through booming cooperation in the petroleum and engineering sectors, said Pei Changhong, an economist from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Jia urged both Chinese and Arab enterprises to further expand the trade scale and deepen cooperation in traditional petroleum exploitation and trade as well as new energy development.

Additionally, China and Arab states need to further strengthen cooperation in infrastructure construction and tap the potential of new areas like logistics, finance, tourism and cultural innovation in order to diversify exchanges between the two sides, Jia said.

The five-day forum will focus on economic and trade cooperation in agriculture, science and technology, energy, finance, tourism and the publishing sector.

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