Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

China and Arab states sign $471m worth of agri deals

Corn harvest season in Zhangye, Gansu Province. China has trained 10,000 agricultural officials and staff from 22 Arab League member countries VCG via Reuters
Corn harvest season in Zhangye, Gansu Province. China has trained 10,000 agricultural officials and staff from 22 Arab League member countries
  • Agricultural trade growing
  • Trade worth $5bn in 2022
  • China training Arab nations

A total of 34 deals worth AED1.73 billion ($471 million) were signed at the China-Arab States Expo, promoting cooperation and development in the agricultural sector.

Agriculture has become an important part of China-Arab cooperation, and trade in agricultural products has recorded steady growth, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported, citing the China Economic Net news portal.

Last year, the trade value of agricultural products between China and Arab countries reached $5 billion, said Li Jinxiang, national chief veterinary officer of the ministry of agriculture and rural affairs, China.

China has established overseas agricultural technology transfer sub-centres in eight countries, including Jordan and Pakistan.

Beijing has promoted dairy cattle embryo transfer technology in Mauritania, set up vegetable growing demonstration areas in Jordan, grown rice in deserts in the UAE and promoted smart irrigation and water-saving technologies in Egypt.

In addition, China has stepped up efforts to train professionals in many Arab states.

As of the end of 2022, China has held nearly 500 training sessions for 10,000 agricultural officials and technical staff from 22 Arab League member countries, covering fields such as desert agriculture, aquaculture and smart agriculture, said Li.

China is the Arab states’ largest trading partner. Trade volume is up from $222.4 billion in 2012 to $431.4 billion in 2022, nearly doubling in a decade. In the first half of this year, China-Arab trade volume reached $199.9 billion.

Two-way investment has expanded. In 2022, China’s direct investment in Arab states increased by $2.62 billion, up 13 percent a year earlier, while the Arab states added $1.05 billion in investment in China, an almost ninefold year-on-year increase.

In the January-June period this year, China’s new direct investment in the Arab world rose $1.44 billion, marking a seven percent increase from a year earlier. In comparison, new investment from Arab countries into China amounted to $2.15 billion.

China-GCC free trade agreement negotiations have entered the “final and critical stage”, Zhang Yiming, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the UAE, said in November last year.

The two sides have agreed on most issues and are putting the final touches on the agreement, Yiming said.

Saudi Arabia remains one of China’s strongest global trade partners, leading Chinese engagement in the construction sector during the first half of 2023, according to the latest Belt and Road Initiative investment report issued by the Green Finance & Development Center at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Chinese president Xi Jinping launched the Belt and Road Initiative in October 2013 as a global infrastructure development strategy to invest in more than 150 countries and international organisations across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

In the Middle East, China established full strategic partnerships with Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran.

Engagement has since expanded well beyond that to include heavy investment in other countries such as Iraq, as well as diplomatic mediation including the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

Latest articles

A Brazilian delegation in front of an Embraer C-390 aircraft at the Singapore Airshow in February

Brazil’s Embraer woos Saudi Arabia for military plane deal

Saudi Arabia is in “early engagement” with Brazilian planemaker Embraer over a deal to replace its ageing fleet of military transport aircraft. Embraer is touting its C-390 Millennium transport plane as the ideal replacement for the kingdom’s Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules aircraft. Embraer Defense & Security’s CEO João Bosco da Costa Junior told reporters: “They […]

Residents use kayaks to evacuate their flooded residential complex in Dubai following the April storm

Floods prompt Abu Dhabi to issue urban planning tender

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transport has issued a tender for studies to aid the city’s urban planning efforts, including infrastructure resilience during storms. The tender for consultancy services opened last month and closes on July 4. It emerges after UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered an urgent review of the […]

Qatar Kazakh mobile network

Qatar company buys Kazakh mobile network for $1bn

Qatar Power International Holding has bought Kazakhstan’s largest mobile phone network. The Qatari company, a private conglomerate based in Lusail, has bought Kazakhtelecom subsidiary Mobile Telecom-Service LLP, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Kazakh government on Tuesday. Mobile Telecom-Service LLP is a joint venture between Swedish telco Tele2 and Kazakh high speed mobile internet […]

Saudi imports GCC

UAE dominates Saudi imports

Saudi Arabia’s imports from its neighbouring five GCC countries rose 5 percent to SAR21 billion ($5.6 billion) in the first quarter of 2024. Oman led the growth, but goods trade with Qatar suffered a steep decline, according to figures from Saudi platform Argaam, citing the Saudi General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT). Goods shipped from the […]