The First Entrepreneurs Meeting of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was held on April 12 to 13. It was sponsored by CCPIT and assisted by China's Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Jia Qinglin, chairman of CPPCC National Committee, Bo Xilai, Minister of Commerce, Li zhaoxing, Foreign Minister, and Wan Jifei, Chairman of CCPIT, and thousands of politicians and Chinese and Arab businessmen took part in the event.
Zhao Chuang, vice director of Department of Foreign Economic Cooperation of MOFCOM, gave a speech at the forum with the theme of "Enhancing China-Arab States Cooperation, Promoting Mutual Development". He said that total bilateral trade between China and Arab states went up from US$2.42 billion in 1991 to US$36.71 billion in 2004, increasing by 14 times within 14 years. By the end of 2004, China's total investment in Arab States amounted to about US$500 million.
Jiang Fan, vice director of Department of Foreign Trade of MOFCOM, pointed out that China and Arab States were strongly complementary to each other. China mainly exported machinery and electronic products, light and textile products to Arab States, imported crude oil, finished oil, chemical materials and fertilizer etc. from the states. Statistics showed that China's imports of crude oil from Arab States in 2004 accounted for 36.5% of the total.