BEIJING - A total of 34 deals worth approximately RMB3.432 billion (AED1.73 billion) were signed at the conference on high-quality modern agricultural cooperation, one of the activities of the 6th China-Arab States Expo (Expo), held in Yinchuan, the capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, on 22nd September.

As agriculture has become a key part of China-Arab cooperation, trade in agricultural products has seen steady growth, according to the China Economic Net.

Last year, trade value of agricultural products between China and Arab countries reached US$5 billion (AED18.36 billion), said Li Jinxiang, national chief veterinary officer of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, in his keynote speech at the Conference on High-quality Modern Agricultural Development and Cooperation.

Giving full play to its technological advantages in plantation, animal husbandry, and water-saving irrigation, China has established overseas agricultural technology transfer sub-centres in eight countries, including Jordan and Pakistan. For example, China has promoted dairy cattle embryo transfer technology in Mauritania, set up vegetable growing demonstration areas in Jordan, grown rice in deserts in the United Arab Emirates, and promoted smart irrigation and water-saving technologies in Egypt.

Besides, China has stepped up efforts for training professionals in many Arab states. As of the end of 2022, China has held nearly 500 training sessions for nearly 10,000 agricultural officials and technical staff from 22 Arab League member countries, covering fields such as desert agriculture, aquaculture, and smart agriculture, said Li.

China is the Arab states' largest trading partner, with trade volume up from US$222.4 billion in 2012 to US$431.4 billion in 2022, nearly doubling in a decade. In the first half of this year, China-Arab trade volume reached US$199.9 billion.

Two-way investment also expanded. In 2022, China's direct investment in Arab states increased by US$2.62 billion, up 13 percent from the same period last year, while the Arab states added US$1.05 billion in investment in China, an almost nine-fold year-on-year increase. In the January-June period this year, China's new direct investment in the Arab world rose US$1.44 billion, marking a 7 percent increase from a year earlier, while new investment from Arab countries into China amounted to US$2.15 billion.

Starting from 21st September, the biennial event, first held in 2013, has attracted over 10,000 guests from 56 countries and regions, as well as over 1,000 Chinese and foreign enterprises.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and Ningxia regional government, the Expo, over the past ten years, has attracted over 400,000 participants and 6,000 enterprises from 112 countries and regions, signing 1,213 cooperation projects in modern agriculture, high technologies, and biomedicine.