Abdullah A Alrebdi, the chairman of the board of directors at Palma Dates, a Saudi firm with 23 date palm farms producing 80,000 tons of date palms annually, expressed his optimism about the sixth China-Arab States Expo. This event, which recently commenced in Yinchuan, the capital of China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, has brought together an array of participants keen on exploring opportunities in China’s vast consumer market.
For Alrebdi, this marks his inaugural attendance at this four-day event, and he has high hopes of forging partnerships and establishing sales channels within China. Over the past decade, more than 400,000 participants have engaged in the expo, transforming it into a pivotal platform for fostering pragmatic cooperation between China and Arab states.
During this decade, economic and trade cooperation between China and Arab states, as demonstrated at the expo, has experienced remarkable growth. China is now the leading trading partner of Arab nations, with last year’s trade volume surging to $431.4 billion, nearly doubling the 2012 figures.
Since its inception in 2013, the expo has attracted over 6,000 enterprises from 112 countries and regions, resulting in more than 1,200 deals spanning various sectors like modern agriculture, high technology, and biomedicine.
Recent years have witnessed China and the Arab world extending their cooperation from traditional sectors to encompass aviation, aerospace, and the digital economy. They have also invested in green and low-carbon development, healthcare, medical services, and finance.
This year, the expo introduced a forum on meteorological cooperation, attracting meteorological officials from 12 Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Mauritania, Syria, and Egypt.
Cross-border e-commerce has emerged as a promising frontier for China-Arab states cooperation. Yang Wanlong, a Chinese entrepreneur, unveiled his plans for e-commerce collaboration with Arab customers at the expo. Having recognized the potential in the Arab market during the previous edition of the expo, Yang returned this year to promote his company’s e-commerce platform in Arab countries. He envisions Arab consumers gaining access to cost-effective, high-quality Chinese products through online orders as cross-border e-commerce between China and Arab states continues to evolve.
The investment opportunities presented at the China-Arab States Expo played a pivotal role in DXN Holdings BHD, a Malaysian company specializing in healthy food supplements, deciding to establish its Chinese subsidiary, DXN Corporation (Ningxia) Co., in Ningxia. At this year’s expo, the company showcases various goods, including instant noodles, milk tea, and coffee, aiming to leverage this unique platform to display their products and engage in collaborations with Arab countries.
This year’s event attracted representatives from 14 governments, 13 international and regional organizations, foreign institutions in China, and over 60 foreign business associations and enterprises. It underscores the expo’s growing significance as a conduit for strengthening cooperation and business ties between China and the Arab states.