Interview: China-Arab States Expo an opportunity to enhance trade, investment, says senior Arab League official
This photo taken on Sept. 21, 2023 shows the smart meteorology exhibition area at the sixth China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.(Xinhua/Feng Kaihua)
Arab-Chinese relations have gone beyond traditional relations and become a very important strategic relationship for both sides.
CAIRO, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The sixth China-Arab States Expo is a valuable opportunity to promote trade and investment, Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Maliki, assistant secretary general of the Arab League (AL), has said.
"A large number of agreements were signed during the previous five sessions of the exhibition. The event is a unique opportunity to open and enhance broad horizons and areas of cooperation between the two sides," he told Xinhua in a recent interview.
As one of the activities of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum established in 2004, the exhibition has played an important role in promoting and increasing Arab-Chinese trade exchange over the past decade, which has nearly doubled during these years, said Al-Maliki, adding that it has helped the Arab and Chinese sides discover new areas for cooperation and investment.
This photo taken on Sept. 21, 2023 shows an exterior view of the venue for the sixth China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.(Xinhua/Feng Kaihua)
Over the past 10 years, the expo has attracted over 400,000 participants and 6,000 enterprises from 112 countries and regions, who signed more than 1,200 cooperation projects in areas such as modern agriculture, high technologies and biomedicine.
Kicked off Thursday in Yinchuan, capital city of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the sixth China-Arab States Expo drew representatives from 14 governments, 13 international and regional organizations as well as foreign institutions in China, and over 60 foreign business associations and enterprises.
"I've learned that the attendance for this session, both at the official and business levels, is expected to be substantial. This is especially the case given the circumstances the (Middle East) region is currently facing and the global economic crisis. These factors serve as strong motivation to seek out new opportunities and explore fresh areas for investment and joint cooperation," Al-Maliki said.
The AL has made unremitting efforts to ensure the success of this four-day biennial event and will actively participate in all workshops and forums while organizing a number of bilateral meetings during the expo, said Al-Maliki.
These forums and meetings open new horizons for establishing investment projects and present new ideas for developing existing investments, said Al-Maliki.
"Many agreements have been concluded in light of the great Chinese-Arab interest to strengthen bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of investment and trade," said Al-Maliki, who also serves as the head of the AL delegation to the expo.
Noting that there is a tremendous Chinese-Arab interest to continue organizing this joint exhibition, he said Arab-Chinese relations have gone beyond traditional relations and become a very important strategic relationship for both sides.
The opening ceremony of the sixth China-Arab States Expo is held in Yinchuan, northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Sept. 21, 2023.(Xinhua/Feng Kaihua)
Noting that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, the official said many Arab countries have benefitted greatly from the initiative since it is based on achieving mutual benefits, common interests, and respect between all parties.
There is no doubt that "this initiative will have a positive and significant impact on trade, sustainable development, and economic growth," not only in participating states, but also the international community as a whole, Al-Maliki said.
He voiced hope that the initiative will lead to a significant development and economic boom in the international community, and will reduce the cost of trade and promote its further development.
The initiative, along with other global cooperation initiatives proposed by China, such as the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative, is consistent and compatible with the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, said Al-Maliki.
"These global initiatives reflect China's vision and foreign policy towards the world, to achieve development, prosperity, security, and stability in the entire world, and define the path that China has set to deal with the others," the AL official said.
These initiatives achieve global development and prosperity in various fields, "therefore the whole world welcomes these initiatives which benefit the international community (as a whole)," he said.