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China-Arab countries cooperation a model for developing countries: NPC vice chairman

(People's Daily Online)    14:11, September 06, 2017

NPC Vice Chairman Zhang Ping addresses the opening ceremony of China-Arab Expo 2017 in Yinchuan on Wednesday. Yu Kai/People’s Daily Online

Seven years into China-Arab countries strategic cooperation partnership, the cooperation model has become a successful example for developing countries, hailed a Chinese top legislator.

Addressing the opening ceremony of China-Arab States Expo 2017, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress Zhang Ping lauded China-Arab countries cooperation, which has witnessed many pragmatic results.

“Lots of evidence shows that China and Arab countries are good friends and good partners who can trust each other. China-Arab strategic cooperation has become a successful model for developing countries that seek to strive toward the same goals and pursue joint development,” Zhang said.

China is now the second largest trading partner of Arab countries. It has established strategic partnerships with eight Arab countries and signed Belt and Road construction deals with six Arab countries. And seven Arab countries are founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Specifically, China-Arab cooperation has laid out a “1+2+3” framework, featuring energy cooperation as the cornerstone, and with infrastructure construction, trade, and investment as the focus, and nuclear energy, satellites, and new energy cooperation as the breakthrough areas. Several production capacity cooperation parks and technology transfer centers have been set up in a number of Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Oman, according to Zhang.

Qian Keming, Vice Commerce Minister, addresses the opening ceremony of China-Arab Expo 2017 in Yinchuan on Wednesday. Yu Kai/People’s Daily Online

Qian Keming, Vice Commerce Minister, introduced at the expo that the trade volume between China-Arab countries reached $171.1 billion in 2016, with China’s export volume to Arab countries at $100.8 billion and its import volume at $70.3 billion.

Specifically, the total value of new contracts from Chinese enterprises in Arab countries climbed to $40.3 billion, up 40.8%. China’s non-financial direct investment reached $115 million, up 74.9 percent.

The expo opened Wednesday in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and will last for four days.

Approved by the State Council, the China-Arab States Expo is a global exposition aiming to promote cooperation between China and Arab countries. Since 2013, the biennial expo has been held three times in Ningxia, hosting officials and representatives from more than 80 countries and regions. A total of 876 deals have been signed at the expo, covering trade, production capacity, energy, technology, agriculture, and tourism, whose total value reached 435.9 billion yuan.

To further strengthen the tie, China looks to promote trade under the Belt and Road Initiative and speed up the negotiation process of the China-Gulf Cooperation Council Free Trade Agreement to further facilitate trade and investment. It also vows to support Yinchuan, the host city of the China-Arab Expo, to become a key transportation hub opening up to Arab countries, Central Asia, and Western Asia. More financial cooperation would also be launched to support the industrialization of Arab countries, Zhang pledged.

A total of 12 China-Arab cooperation deals were inked on Wednesday at the China-Arab Business Summit 2017, covering basic infrastructure construction, agriculture and electric power cooperation (Yu Kai/People's Daily Online)

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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