BEIJING, 31st July, 2023 (WAM) -- The sixth China-Arab States Expo is set to take place from 21-24 September in Yinchuan, the capital of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, according to China's Ministry of Commerce.

This year's expo also marks the 10th anniversary of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), said Wang Li, a senior official from Ningxia. The expo has been held five times previously in Ningxia, attracting over 6,000 domestic and international companies and resulting in 1,213 cooperation agreements.

For this year's expo, over 10,000 participants are expected, including 670 Chinese associations and enterprises and more than 60 foreign associations and firms. To date, the 2023 expo has already led to more than 130 projects worth 81.6 billion yuan (US$11.5 billion).

Li Fei, Vice Minister of Commerce, noted that the expo will feature new exhibitions targeting Chinese state-run enterprises, intelligent meteorology, and equipment manufacturing and technology. These exhibitions aim to showcase the benefits of cooperation in trade, energy, infrastructure, and more. The total exhibition area will span 40,000 square metres.

The BRI has bolstered cooperation between China and Arab countries, leading to booming trade and investment and enhanced infrastructure cooperation. China remained the top trading partner for the Arab region in the first half of 2023, with bilateral trade reaching US$199.9 billion. China exported US$90.1 billion of goods to Arab countries and imported goods worth US$109.8 billion, according to Li.

Investment between China and the Arab world also increased, with China's new direct investment in Arab countries rising by 7 percent year-on-year to US$1.44 billion. New investments from Arab countries into China totalled US$2.15 billion.

The 10th Arab-China Business Conference was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in June. The conference, the largest business gathering between China and Arab countries, led to 30 economic and trade agreements worth over 70 billion yuan.