Chart of the Day: First China-Arab States Summit, an epoch-making milestone

The inaugural China-Arab States Summit to be held on Friday will be the largest and highest-level diplomatic event between China and the Arab world as well as an epoch-making milestone in the history of China-Arab relations, according to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On the eve of the China-Arab States Summit, “World Supermarket” Yiwu and Saudi Arabia completed the first cross-border RMB payment business.

“The use of cross-border RMB payments has played a significant role in promoting China-Arab trade. This is also a vivid microcosm of trade and investment facilitation between China and Arab countries,” Mao Ning, spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at a regular press conference on Friday.

The summit was first proposed by Saudi Arabia, and the Chinese side quickly made a positive response. In March 2021, the 155th session of the Council of the Arab League at the level of foreign ministers adopted resolutions to strengthen relations with China, one of which was to welcome Saudi Arabia to host the first China-Arab Summit.

China has established a future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development with all Arab states collectively, while individually, China has established a comprehensive strategic partnership with Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and a strategic partnership with eight Arab states.

Chart of the Day: First China-Arab States Summit, an epoch-making milestone

Trade and investment

The win-win cooperation between China and Arab countries have driven bilateral trade and investment to achieve multiple growths.

As of 2021, the stock of China-Arab two-way direct investment reached $27 billion, with an increase of 2.6 times compared with a decade ago.

The trade volume between China and Arab countries was about $330.3 billion last year, with an increase of 1.5 times compared with 10 years ago. In the first three quarters of 2022, the trade volume between China and the Arab world stood at about $319.3 billion, with a year on year increase of 35.28 percent.

As the trade volume between the two sides has grown rapidly, the proportion of oil trade is increasing. In 2021, China imported 264 million tonnes of crude oil from Arab states, accounting for 51.47 percent of China’s total.

High-tech sectors

China-Arab cooperation in high-tech sectors, including new energy, 5G communications, space and digital economy is also gaining momentum.

China is actively expanding cooperation with Arab countries in solar energy, wind energy, hydropower and other new energy fields.

Chinese companies have become key partners in the field of 5G communications in Arab countries, occupying a high market share in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and other countries.

Cultural exchange

Since 2013, China has trained 25,000 talents from Arab states, and provided government scholarships for 11,000 talents from Arab states.

From 2018 to 2019, there were over 340,000 visits from Arab states to the Chinese mainland each year, and there were over 20,000 Arab students who studied in China per academic year.

As of October 2022, four Arab countries have included Chinese in their national education systems, and 13 Arab countries have established 20 Confucius Institutes.

(Text by Yao Niao; data editor: Zhao Hong; graphics designer: Mukesh Mohanan)

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