The 2020 Chinese Committee Meeting of China-Arab Joint Chamber of Commerce (CAJCC) was held in Beijing on Aug. 27. Achievements of China-Arab economic and trade cooperation were summarized and the vision for further engagements was defined.
As an important multilateral cooperation mechanism for trade and investment exchanges between China and Arab countries, the CAJCC is a non-profit non-governmental organization. It was jointly established in 1988 by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture for Arab Countries (GUCCIAAC) with the approval of the State Council.
In recent years, under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China-Arab relations have entered a new stage of development, according to Zhang Shaogang, vice chairman of the CCPIT.
“The action plan for the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) 2020-2022, which was released in July of this year by both sides, will promote collaboration in such fields as energy, infrastructure, logistics services and investment facilitation. Cooperation in high-tech sectors including nuclear energy, astronautics and satellites will also be strengthened,” Zhang said.
“In 2019, the volume of China-Arab trade totaled US$266.4 billion, up 9% year on year. China’s direct investment in Arab countries amounted to US$1.42 billion, up 18.8% on a yearly basis. These figures fully demonstrate the broad prospects of China-Arab cooperation,” said Chen Zhong, vice president of the China Communication Construction Company, which sponsored the meeting.
Speeches by Arab participants expressed hopes for further exploration of trade and investment collaboration opportunities highlighted at the meeting. “Cooperation makes us all rich and satisfied while selfishness makes us poor. Just as the Chinese saying goes, when everyone adds fuel, the flame flies high,” said Hussam Al Husseini, the ambassador of Jordan to China.
Wang Linjie, director of the CCPIT legal advisory office, analyzed the business and legal risks facing the enterprises trading and investing abroad at the meeting, many of which result from the COVID-19 pandemic, which still has not been controlled across the world. Wan noted the “increased risk of contract breach and rupture of industrial supply chains.” She then offered suggestions to help avoid such threats.
In the next phase, the Chinese committee will dedicate itself to the preparation of the 9th entrepreneur conference under the CASCF and the 5th China-Arab States Expo, which will be held in 2021. In the meantime, the committee will work to better serve bilateral efforts to prevent and control COVID-19.