Visitors take photos in front of the logo of the fourth China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan of Ningxia Hui autonomous region Sept 4, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]
The exchanges and cooperation between China and Middle Eastern countries should continue to deepen in various fields to improve the quality of life for both peoples, especially when the pandemic keeps fluctuating and the virus continues to mutate, said officials and experts.
Despite the impact from the pandemic, economic and trade cooperation between China and Middle Eastern countries still maintained a good momentum of development, with major investment projects continuing to advance, said Xie Fuzhan, president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, during international webinar China-MENA Cooperation: Deepen Friendship and Innovation-driven Development.
According to statistics from China's Ministry of Commerce, the trade in goods between China and Arabic countries reached almost $240 billion last year, and China became the largest trading partner for some Arabic countries.
Xie said the two parties should expand cooperation in emerging fields such as digital economy, green economy, 5G and artificial intelligence, and continuously promote economic transformation and create new growth drivers in the future.
"China and Middle Eastern countries must continue to strengthen innovative cooperation to better promote development, benefit the people's livelihoods and maintain stability," he said.
The online conference on Tuesday was jointly organized by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, and King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
During the conference, officials, scholars and experts discussed cooperation between China and Middle Eastern countries in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic as well as on cultural exchanges and security issues.
Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, UAE's ambassador to China, commended China's efforts on containing the pandemic through different measures, making the country among the first economies to recover.
He said China's recovery not only boosted the global economy, but also ensured "the ongoing supply of medical devices and materials internationally".
China and the UAE have also cooperated in the joint manufacture of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, marketed as Hayat-Vax.
The ambassador said he is looking forward to the mass production and wide distribution of this vaccine to more regions across the world, making UAE's contribution to improve international health and welfare.
"It is a true example of our strategic cooperation delivering positive results," said the ambassador, adding that such partnership demonstrates sincere desire to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Hussam Al Husseini, Jordan's ambassador to China, said it was also time to "look beyond the horizon, and enhance our investment in the future".