Delegates attend the opening ceremony of China-Arab States Expo 2017 in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Sept. 6, 2017. The four-day expo began Wednesday in Yinchuan. [Photo/Xinhua]
YINCHUAN -- The China-Arab States Expo began Wednesday in the northwestern Chinese city of Yinchuan, drawing representatives from 47 countries and regions.
The four-day event will focus on trade in commodities and services, as well as cooperation in technology, investment and tourism. The Belt and Road will be highlighted during the expo, and forums on high-speed railways, logistics and credit will be staged.
Executives from 1,080 companies and nearly 5,000 exhibitors covering 31 industries ranging from transportation to big data are present.
The gathering has achieved good results and become an important platform for cooperation between China and Arab countries, Kamal Hassan Ali, assistant secretary general for economic affairs of the Arab League, said at the opening ceremony.
A total of 321 deals related to science and technology, finance, energy, agriculture, health, tourism, culture and education were inked during previous events, with total contract worth tens of billions of U.S. dollars.
During the ceremony, attendees recognized the Belt and Road in bolstering economic ties between the two sides, including Guinean President Alpha Conde, first deputy CEO of Afghanistan Mohammad Khan and Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil.
Along the ancient Silk Road trading routes, the Belt and Road is aimed at building an infrastructure and trade network linking Asia, Europe and Africa, with the Middle East playing a crucial part.
China-Arab trade reached 171.14 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, and agreements on projects worth 40.37 billion dollars were signed between the two sides, up 40.8 percent from 2015. China's non-financial direct investment in Arab countries surged 74.9 percent.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the biennial expo has been held three times since 2013.