Jiang Weiping, left, and Zhang Jo participate in the roundtable.
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Baasiri was speaking during an Arab Banking Conference roundtable, which brought together bank executives from China, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait to discuss how to build long-term banking relationships between China and Arab countries.China's newly created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank includes more than a half dozen Arab member countries that comprise around 7 percent of its capital, Andraos noted.Despite China's 21st-century Silk Road ambitions, Arab-Chinese banking cooperation remains uncharted territory. National Bank of Egypt Chairman Hisham Okasha said in translated remarks. He suggested the Union of Arab Banks help promote banking relationships with China and resolve issues related to the bilateral flow of currencies. In a telling testament, CFO of Huawei Levant Jiang Weiping said "more and more companies like Huawei are looking to Arab banks for service, such as trade finance, currency dealing, and cross-border settlement". He noted that the Chinese tech giant received local bank financing last year and would continue seeking cooperation with local banks. Zhang Zhifeng, head of trade finance at Bank of China Middle East, noted "significant progress" in the Chinese currency's internationalization since China's central bank began a cross-border renminbi settlement pilot program in 2009 .
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