China- Arab Investment Cooperation in Infrastructure: Opportunity and Prospect

16 September 2013

China’s foreign investment has grown rapidly in recent years, and in such context, its investment in Arabian countries has also achieved rapid growth. During my visits to the embassies and consulates of various countries, I could obviously sense the great attention that the countries gave to infrastructure and their hope to carry out investment cooperation in the field of infrastructure with Chinese enterprises. For example, the Lebanese Ambassador was very interested in the postwar reconstruction projects and expressed the hope to use Lebanon's postwar reconstruction experience and cooperate with Chinese enterprises to carry out postwar reconstruction project development in other countries; the government of Kingdom of Bahrain has decided to invest $ 50 billion in the next three years in infrastructure construction and hopes to cooperate with Chinese companies in the transformation of old airports, new airport construction and Gulf countries transportation network construction etc.

I think the China-Arab investment and financing cooperation in infrastructure may take the China-Russia and CIS countries cooperation model as reference. In 2011, China and Russia successfully signed a loan-for-oil agreement, according to which, the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank would provide a 20-year long-term loan of $ 25 billion to RosneftOil and Russia would provide 300 million tons of oil as the repayment for the loan, 15 million tons per annum, through the China-Russia oil pipeline. Currently, the agreement has been implemented and is working very well, China and Russia have realized real mutual benefits on this project. After that, this mode has been replicated in cooperation with the CIS countries, for example, China’s cooperation with Belarus and Ukraine in the field of infrastructure construction has taken the similar "loans-for-infrastructure projects" or "loans-for-food" models.

Therefore, I believe that the investment and financing cooperation between China and Arabian countries in the field of infrastructure has very bright prospects.

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