BEIJING, June 21 (Xinhua) -- The first Sino-Arab economic and trade forum will be held on September 26-30 in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the Ningxia government said Monday.
The forum, to be held annually, will include events like meetings, commodity shows and an international halal food festival, Wang Zhengwei, chairman of the regional government, said at a press conference in Beijing.
The forum aims to promote all-round economic cooperation between China and the Arab League, said Wang.
Ningxia, the largest Muslim region in China, also hopes to attract investment from the Arab Leagues's 22 member states.
With efforts from both sides, the forum will be an important platform for all-round cooperation between China and the Arab nations, which have a common task of development, said Fu Ziying, vice commerce minister of China.
In 2009, bilateral trade between China and the Arab states hit 107.4 billion U.S. dollars, compared with 36.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2004.
Ningxia is home to 2.17 million Muslims. They make up over one third of the autonomous region's population and account for more than 10 percent of China's total muslim population of 20 million.