Muscat: A total of 10,000 young Arab professionals will receive training from Chinese industry experts as part of the East Asian nation’s bid to build stronger political and economic ties with the Arab world.
The move was announced during the China-Arab Summit held in Beijing last week and spearheaded by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Oman and the rest of the Arab world are considered integral to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, under which it looks to expand its global economic influence by investing trillions of dollars across several industries such as logistics, manufacturing, transport, and shipping, among others, and by connecting China to the rest of Asia as well as Europe, Africa, America, and beyond through the sea and land routes.
“There will be training opportunities for 10,000 Arabs in China, as part of our Belt and Road strategy,” said Yu Fulong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Sultanate. “Apart from this, we will invite 100 Arab youth, 200 young scientists, and 300 science and technology experts for seminars, as well as 100 more from the religious field and 600 officials from such parties."
“The Chinese side is interested in cooperating with Oman in the field of education,” he added. “Currently, more than 60 Omani students in China are studying Chinese, finance, administration, and renewable energy, while 22 Chinese students are presently studying at Sultan Qaboos University and Sohar University. Chinese is also being taught at Sultan Qaboos University, while the Chinese students who come here also get the chance to learn Arabic.”
The Omani port town of Duqm, earmarked as the Sultanate’s super city of the future thanks to its geopolitically strategic location on the Arabian Sea, has received massive Chinese investments, with some US$3.1 billion already having been committed, as well as 10 projects currently underway, and a further 25 currently undergoing feasibility studies.
“As part of the Belt and Road agreement, the Oman-China Industrial City set-up has also seen Oman sign an agreement with the Ningchia Institute of Vocational Education to provide assistance to prepare 1,000 Omani students to study in China over a period of eight years,” said Fulong.
“The outstanding students from that group will work in the Oman-China Industrial City after completing their studies,” he added. “Some 39 students from Oman are currently studying in China as part of the first batch."
“We are also setting up an international transaction exchange platform, which will be an inter-bank consortium that will also involve Arab nations,” he said. “This platform will have a credit of $3 billion. It is part of our initiative to focus on the digital economy, artificial intelligence, smart cities, and scientific cooperation."
“We are going to jointly build scientific research labs with the Arab states, and we will also focus on big data, cloud computing, e-commerce, and international economic cooperation,” remarked Fulong.
“We wish to aid the Arab states in conducting deeper exploration and exploitation of oil and gas, as well as helping in the peaceful use of nuclear, water, solar, and wind energy,” he stated. “We will provide financial and high-tech cooperation to focus on capacity building and set up industrial parks, where we will finance its supporters.”