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6th China-Arab States Cooperation Forum to begin

2014-06-04 16:36 CNTV Web Editor: Li Yan

Besides talks on trade and economic cooperation, the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum this year will also mark the 10th anniversary of its establishment.

China is looking for further trade and investment opportunities. And the 6th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum will provide a platform to discuss these opportunities. China is currently the second biggest trade partner of Arab countries, and by 2012, bilateral trade volume hit 222 billion US dollars, up 14% year on year...and there is room for further growth.

"Chinese imports from the Middle-East are mainly oil and petrochemical products. While Chinese exports to the region are mostly low value added products like clothing and electric home appliances. China needs to expand its trade volume with the region and also increase the variety of its exports." said Chen Mo, Vice Director, Middle Eastern Research Office, CASS.

"Some middle-eastern countries still lack good infrastructure. This is a good opportunity for Chinese firms to participate in building infrastructure projects there." said Sun Baoliang, President, China-Arab Countries Trade Promotion Assoc.

Cooperation in energy has always been a key focus in China's relation with oil rich countries in the Arab world. However, as the world's energy dynamics changes, cooperation between the two sides in energy security could redefine their relationship.

"Arab states are looking to work more closely with China in the energy sector. We see that Russia has signed a major energy deal with China, that will lead to shifts in China's energy demand. On the other hand, the US is already decreasing its need for foreign oil as the country's shale gas technology develops." said Chen Mo, Vice Director, Middle Eastern Research Office, CASS.

In the coming ministerial meeting, representatives from China and Arab countries are expected to gain new grounds on the discussions over these important topics, and, delegates will push forward talks on building a free trade agreement between the two sides.

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