YINCHUAN, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- China and Arab states have enhanced their cooperation in production capacity development, with increased investment and expanded areas of cooperation, according to a report released Thursday at the ongoing fourth China-Arab States Expo.
Chinese enterprises signed 35.6 billion U.S. dollars of new project contracts in Arab countries in 2018, an annual growth of 9 percent. Direct investment from Chinese companies in Arab states totaled 1.2 billion dollars, about 3.8 times the number in 2010, according to the 2019 report on China-Arab production capacity cooperation.
In particular, more Chinese private enterprises have carried out production capacity cooperation with Arab countries in recent years, the report said. For instance, private enterprises account for more than half of the 120 Chinese companies investing in Egypt.
The report also pointed out that the China-Arab cooperation has expanded from petroleum and petrochemicals to various sectors including transportation, electricity, telecommunication and nuclear energy.
"A total of 18 Arab states have signed cooperation documents with China on jointly building the Belt and Road. The two sides have been deepening their pragmatic cooperation in areas including petroleum, electricity and nuclear energy," said Yu Zirong, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, during the China-Arab States Expo.
The expo opened on Thursday in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and will last until Sunday. It features trade fairs and forums on infrastructure, Internet plus healthcare, high technology, modern agriculture, logistics, tourism, digital economy and industrial cooperation.
The biennial event has served as an important platform for China and Arab countries to jointly pursue the Belt and Road Initiative since it was inaugurated in 2013.
China-Arab economic and trade cooperation has gained steam in recent years. Last year, bilateral trade volume between the two sides reached 244.3 billion dollars, jumping 28 percent year on year.