YINCHUAN, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The sixth China-Arab States Expo opened Thursday in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
The four-day event draws the participation of guests from more than 50 countries such as Saudi Arabia and Mauritania.
This year's expo features trade fairs and forums on trade and investment, modern agriculture, cross-border trade, cultural tourism, health, water resources utilization, and meteorological cooperation.
The offline exhibition area at the expo is nearly 40,000 square meters, and more than 1,000 domestic and foreign enterprises have participated in the exhibition, the organizer said.
First held in 2013, the China-Arab States Expo has become an important platform for China and Arab states to promote pragmatic cooperation and advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
China is now the Arab states' largest trading partner. China-Arab trade volume almost doubled from the 2012 level to 431.4 billion U.S. dollars last year. In the first half of this year, trade between China and the Arab states reached 199.9 billion dollars.
In 2022, China's direct investment in Arab states increased by 2.62 billion U.S. dollars, up 13 percent year on year, while the Arab states added 1.05 billion U.S. dollars in investment in China, an increase of nearly nine times year on year, Vice Minister of Commerce Li Fei said at the opening ceremony of this year's expo.
Joint efforts should be made to consolidate and develop the bilateral relations between China and Arab states, fully tap cooperation potential and push forward China-Arab strategic partnership, said Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Malki, assistant secretary general of the League of Arab States. "In particular, we should further synergize with the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative, which coincide with the vision of the Arab world."
"Our trade volume has almost tripled in the past decade, and we are deeply grateful to China for its firm commitment to support our economic development and further develop bilateral relations," said Moustadroine Abdou, president of the Assembly of the Union of Comoros. "We hope more such events like the expo will continue to witness the high-quality bilateral relations between our two countries."
Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and Ningxia regional government, the expo, over the past ten years, 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.