Jan 23, 2016, 11:07 AM
News Code: 81931595
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Xi’s Middle East trip offers chance to bolster growth: Paper

Tehran, Jan 23, IRNA – President Xi’s Middle East trip offers chance to bolster economic growth through 'Belt and Road' initiative, Chinese newspaper Global Times said.

Excerpts from the Global Times article written by He Wenping follows:

'President Xi Jinping's first overseas visit of the new year has taken him to the Middle East, a region with a strategic location and abundant resources. His five-day tour of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran started on Tuesday and comes at a time when the region has been experiencing upheavals and social transition, and badly needs to bolster its economy to cement political and social foundations.

Meanwhile, China's new Middle East diplomacy focuses on boosting the economic growth of the region through its 'One Belt, One Road' initiative and opening a new chapter in China's economic and trade cooperation with the Middle East.

The Middle East - which connects Europe, Asia and Africa - not only contributes to prosperity along the ancient Silk Road, but is also key to matching projects between China and countries along the route of the 'Belt and Road' initiative.

All of the three countries Xi is visiting during the trip warmly support China's 'Belt and Road' initiative. As founding members of the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the three countries also hope to integrate their own development strategies with China's 'Belt and Road' initiative and see it as a historic opportunity for their future economic development.

With economic sanctions on Iran having been lifted, the country will see unprecedented opportunities for economic development. During Xi's visit, China and Iran are expected to negotiate on cooperation in fields such as energy, industries, railways, transportation, ports and technology.

China and Iran are also working to sign a currency swap agreement to facilitate bilateral trade. As the yuan is gaining increasing recognition in the Middle East, the internationalization of China's currency will bring more opportunities for trade and financial cooperation between China and the Middle East.

*** The author is a senior researcher at the Charhar Institute and a researcher at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.'