|President Xi Jinping and other leaders attend the opening of the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. [Photo / China Daily]|
Energy, infrastructure, along with trade and investment to form mainstay of links
President Xi Jinping outlined a blueprint for greater cooperation with Arab states on Thursday, describing them as "natural partners" in regional development projects, a Silk Road economic belt and a maritime Silk Road.
Xi said China and Arab nations should establish a cooperative framework centered on energy cooperation, with infrastructure along with trade and investment as "two pillars", and aim for high-tech breakthroughs in nuclear energy, aerospace and new energy.
"The next decade poses a critical development period for both China and Arab states, which calls us to carry forward the Silk Road spirit and rejuvenate our countries," Xi said at the opening of the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.
He also announced that the two sides will expand their trade volume from $240 billion to $600 billion in the next 10 years.
Chinese companies were encouraged to invest in sectors such as energy, petrochemicals, agriculture, manufacturing and services in Arab states.
Xi said discussions should be held on establishing a China-Arab technology transfer center, jointly building the Arab training center for peaceful use of nuclear energy and opening China’s Beidou Navigation Satellite System to Arab states.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters, "We have gotten closer at the forum."