Arab-Chinese business meet kicks off in Sharjah

Sharjah, Jan 18 (IANS/WAM) Sharjah ruler Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi and visiting Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao inaugurated the fourth Arab-Chinese Business Conference here Wednesday.

The conference is organised by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the Arab League.

Sharjah Crown Prince Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, ministers, senior officials, businessmen and diplomats, among others, attended.

Wen praised the China-Arab relations.

‘I am particularly impressed with Burj Khalifa, not only because of its enormous height but also because it symbolises the dreams and determination of the Arab people for achievement. Beside its harsh desert conditions, the Gulf is also known for its resolute and persistent people,’ he said.

The Chinese prime minister expressed gratitude to the Arab countries for offering generous support to China during the devastating earthquake in 2008.

He revealed that China-Arab trade grew by 30 percent during the past 10 years.

He called for deepening cultural, educational and tourism cooperation between the Arab countries and China.

Saudi Arabia topped the list of China’s Arab trade partners with a two-way trade volume of $43.1 billion, followed by the UAE, with trade exchange accounting for $25.6 billion.

UAE Foreign Trade Minister Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi highlighted the significant growth in trade between China and the Arab countries.

She noted that China ranked second in UAE’s foreign trade at $14 billion in 2010.

–IANS/WAM

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IANS