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UPDATED: September 9, 2015
Arab League Says China-Arab Cooperation Historical, Deeply Rooted

Arab-Chinese relations are historical and deeply rooted, Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League (AL) for Economic Affairs Mohammed al-Tuwaijri told Xinhua in an interview.

"These continuing and growing ties with China date back to the ancient Silk Road," al-Tuwaijri said.

"I'm very glad that the Chinese and Arab leaderships are working to revive this road," he said, adding that "there are many projects that the Chinese president has presented recently that are related to the revival of the Silk Road."

Trade, industry and investment will deepen the positive relations, said the Arab official.

The establishment of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF), which is the fruit of a cooperation agreement signed by the AL and China in 2004, is extremely for boosting cooperation in all fields, al-Tuwaijri added.

The Expo, themed "Spread Silk Road Spirit, Deepen China-Arab Cooperation" will be held this month in Yinchuan, capital of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

"This event, showing real investment chances in all fields, is designed as a platform for economic and financial cooperation as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges," the official said, addeding that a large AL delegation, in addition to delegations from Arab States, will attend the event.

He pointed out that the gap in investment between the two nations is wide as China's investments in the Arab world are $2 billion, while the Arab investments in China stand at $700 million.

"This is not because both parties do not have the desire to enlarge investment, but because some Arab countries as well as China have laws that do not support foreign investment," he stressed.

And he suggested to amended investment laws to attract investors. "Investment laws should be the core issue in any future meeting of the CASCF," the official said.

On the other side, al-Tuwaijri revealed that two-way trade is different from investment, stressing that two-way trade between China and Arab countries has been very strong and steady from 2004 to 2014.

He also stressed the necessity that China should help the Arabs in information technology field, adding that there is already a good cooperation in the fields of electricity and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Last year's meeting CASCF in Riyadh of Saudi Arabia marked the signing of an accord on peaceful nuclear energy use. Under the accord, China will establish factories in the Arab world with technology transfer and investment in electricity projects.

"This agreement was discussed last week by the Economic and Social Council of AL and it will be implemented very soon," the LA's official said.

The Silk Road initiative will strengthen the Arab economies and enlarge Arab-Chinese economic cooperation, and the Arab land and railway networks will also contribute to achieving this initiative and transporting China's trade to Europe and Africa, al-Tuwaijri concluded.

(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2015)

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