China, Arab states to expand cooperation in emerging industries
Updated 19:24, 18-Jun-2021

China will expand cooperation with Arab states in emerging industries such as digital economy, new energy and artificial intelligence, Qian Keming, vice commerce minister told a press conference in Beijing on Friday.

At the press conference, the commerce ministry announced that the 5th China-Arab States Expo will be held in Yinchuan in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region on August 19-22.

Focusing on deepening economic and trade cooperation in the post-COVID era, the Expo consists of six sections: the digital economy, clean energy, green food, cross-border e-commerce, international goods and healthcare.

The two sides will strengthen anti-pandemic cooperation, including the procurement of medical supplies, investment in the medical and health sectors and joint production of vaccines in the future.

China will seek cooperation with Arab states in new energy such as photovoltaics, solar thermal and wind to achieve its carbon peak and neutrality goals, while consolidating traditional cooperation in oil and gas.

"We plan to release the annual report of the development of China and Arab states, and sign a joint communique on energy cooperation between the two. We also expect to sign more than 10 agreements on technical cooperation and transformation ... Some major Arab companies and Chinese companies have confirmed they are joining the event, including the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, the National Bank of Kuwait, the Chinese telecom company Huawei and artificial intelligence company iFlytek," Lai Jiao, vice chairman of the People's Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, detailed.

The two sides will open up new cooperation in high-tech sectors and digital economy, and promote innovative cooperation in 5G communications and e-commerce.

They will also take measures to facilitate bilateral trade and investment and jointly safeguard free trade and the multilateral trading system.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic and trade cooperation between China and Arab states has shown resilience, with the bilateral trade value hitting $239.8 billion last year.

China is now the largest trade partner for Arab states as its exports of electromechanical equipment and high-tech products to those countries accounted for 67.4 percent of total exports in 2020. And the Arab countries have also become China's largest overseas crude oil supplier.

"Despite the impact of the pandemic, the foundation of our trade and economic cooperation is still solid. We will also expand into new cooperation areas ... and strengthen our cooperation in dealing with the pandemic, including the purchase of medical supplies, investments in medical and sanitation areas, and vaccine production," Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming said.

Inaugurated in 2013, the China-Arab States Expo has become an exchange platform for bilateral cooperation in economy and trade, science and technology, and medical care. In the first four expos, more than 20 national leaders, over 5,000 companies, and 40,000 guests from China and abroad have taken part in the events, with over 900 cooperation programs signed.

A business summit during the Expo will talk about digital economy, carbon peak and structural transformations in energy investment, as well as efforts to expand and deepen bilateral cooperation.

In addition, a China-Qatar technology transfer center and a China-Arab states technology transfer center will be built, Lai noted.

(CGTN's Wang Hui also contributed to the story.)

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