China's President Xi Jinping - Reuters/Marko Djurica
YINCHUAN – 6 September 2017: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday sent a message of congratulations to China-Arab States Expo 2017, which kicked off here, in which he termed Arab states as "good friends" to China.
In his message, the Chinese president stated that Arab countries have become important partners in the building of the Belt and Road project, a strategic Chinese plan that aims at reviving the network of silk-trade routes across ocean and land of past centuries.
The Chinese president appreciated the vast cooperation between China and the Arab states.
The China-Arab States Expo 2017 kicked off in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, on Wednesday with the participation of Egypt as a guest of honor.
Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil opened the event on behalf of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The expo is held under the rubric "Friendship, Cooperation and Development" and will run until Saturday.
Around 1,400 exhibitors representing Chinese institutions, 57 countries and three regional organizations are taking part in the exhibition.
Twenty senior officials from Egypt, Oman, Kuwait, Sudan, Lebanon and other countries are attending the event.
On the sidelines of the expo, a number of activities will be held, including the 7th Session of the Arab-Chinese Businessmen Conference of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum and China-Arab States Agricultural Cooperation Forum & Modern Agriculture Exhibition.
China-Arab States Expo is designed to create high-end platforms, specialized exhibitions and one-on-one talks in the fields of agricultural, financial, energy, chemicals, new technology, cultural, educational and tourism cooperation.
In earlier statements, the Chinese deputy trade minister said the volume of trade between China and the Arab countries hit $171.14 billion in 2016 with China's non-financial investments in Arab countries reaching $1.15 billion
Arab direct investments in China hit $67 million.