China, Arab Countries Aim To Double Trade, Target Energy

Seeking to double their trade volumes over the next few years, China and the Arab world will target the energy sector, the two sides said as they wrapped up a ministerial forum in Beijing on June. 1.

An agreement signed on the final day of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum said that Beijing and the 22 Arab League members would hold their first meeting on oil issues over the next three years, according to Xinhua news agency. "The two sides attach importance to energy cooperation, particularly the cooperation in the sectors of oil, natural gas and renewable energy," said a document outlining the forum's plans for 2006 to 2008.

Mohammed Hussein al-Shaali, state minister for foreign affairs of the United Arab Emirates and a co-chair of the forum, said there was a common target to double bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2010. Trade between China and the 22 member states of the Arab League last year totaled $51.3 billion.

The China-Arab Cooperation Forum ministerial meeting was a gathering of foreign ministers or their representatives.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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