Leading business groups from Lebanon and China signed here Friday two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to boost the Belt and Road Initiative.
Signed by the Arab Chambers of Commerce and the China Council to Promote International Trade (CCPIT), the MoUs regulate to establish a "Business Council of the Silk Road."
In the presence of Fransbank Chairman Adnan Kassar and Chinese ambassador to Lebanon Wang Kejian, Jiang Zengwei, head of the CCPIT, and Nail al-Kabariti, head of the Arab Chambers, inked the MoUs and discussed ways to further promote the trade relations between China, Lebanon and the Arab world.
Kabariti stressed the necessity of strengthening the cooperation between China and the Arab countries to face the challenges and world economical changes to achieve the common interests and mutual benefits.
He suggested developing the Chinese-Arab cooperation to a level of strategic partnership, and mulling the first official document of its kind launched by China a year ago that calls for more cooperation with Arab countries.
Jiang mentioned Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Saudi Arabia and Egypt in 2016, stressing Xi's speech delivered at the Arab League set landmarks of bilateral strategic cooperation.
"Cooperation between China and the Arab world has achieved a remarkable growth during the past years," Jiang said, hoping it will be further developed given "China and Arab countries need for each other."
Nabil Fahed, Vice Chairman of Beirut Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, pointed to the importance of establishing the "Business Council of the Silk Road" and hoped that "Lebanon will be a key center for the Silk Road."
Chinese ambassador Wang Kejian hailed the relations between China and the Arab world, highlighting the Belt and Road Initiative has entered into force and is carrying out giant projects in many countries along the Silk Road.
"Chinese government fully supports Chinese companies to invest in the Arab world and encourages Arab companies to develop their businesses in China," Wang said.
Kassar stressed the importance of Lebanon's role in the initiative, with advantages of location, human resources and relatively high-level security in the region.
He asserted readiness to cooperate with the Chinese side and to exercise a strategic role in the reconstruction of Syria and Iraq in collaboration with Arab companies.