YINCHUAN, Sept 21 (NNN-XINHUA) – In the run-up to the sixth China-Arab States Expo in north-west China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, guests from countries and regions along the Belt and Road, expressed their expectations for further cooperation with China.
On Tuesday, Ningxia opened its third international friendship-cities forum in Yinchuan, the regional capital. Among all the foreign attendees from 22 countries and regions at the two-day forum, many are familiar with China and the city.
Mohamed Khalil, president of the Morocco-Chinese Friendship and Exchange Association, first came to China in 1978, to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). He later visited Yinchuan during the first China-Arab States Expo held in 2013.
“Yinchuan has changed a lot over the past decade with more tall buildings and beautiful sceneries,” said Khalil, adding that, Ningxia plays an increasingly significant role in China-Morocco relations.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Morocco was the first country in North Africa to sign the Belt and Road cooperation document with China. Since then, the two countries have maintained close political, economic, and cultural connections.
“For example, I opened the first TCM clinic in Morocco, to promote acupuncture, cupping, and massage. Now, the TCM clinics are quite common and popular in Morocco,” he said, adding he also expects future cooperation with Ningxia in landscape tourism and new energy power generation.
Though it is the first time for Mamdouh Ghorab, governor of Egypt’s Al Shakia Governorate, to visit China, he has discovered much cooperation potential with the country.
“I know many Egyptian students study in China, and we also have a Confucius Institute in the Suez Canal University in Egypt,” said Ghorab, who is also the president of the university. He said, he always encourages students to study in different cities of China to deepen mutual understanding.
“We can further cooperate in education and cultural exchanges. Ningxia and Al Shakia Governorate also share some experiences about developing modern agriculture and animal husbandry.”
Bai Yuzhen, director of the regional foreign affairs office of Ningxia, said that, the forum was held to upgrade the “international friend circle” to an “international cooperation circle,” thus further unleashing the economic benefits of international exchanges among friendship cities.
So far, Ningxia has established 60 pairs of global friendship cities with 42 foreign countries.
Meanwhile, the region has also expanded its international economic and trade exchange circle over the years, which now covers 180 countries and regions, with 156 Ningxia-invested enterprises set up in 35 countries and regions, according to Bai.
The sixth China-Arab States Expo is scheduled from today, Sept 21 to 24.– NNN-XINHUA