The China-Arab States Center, the first overseas center of China’s original BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, was formally inaugurated this week in Tunisia. The BDS/GSS Center was established as a project between China and the Tunisia-based Arab Information and Communication Technology Organization or the so-called, AICTO, a well-known Arab Government organization, which is under the Arabian League, who aims to promote the worldwide application of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. This statement is according to the director of China Satellite Navigation office, Ran Chengqi.
As what highlighted by the director, the said center can also serve both the platform and the window to showcase the BDS for promoting international cooperation and exchanges. AICTO’s secretary, Mohamed Ben Amor, welcomed the center and considered this as an exceptional technology project not only for the Arabian region but the entire world. According to Amor, the AICTO will intensify its support and assistance with China about satellite navigation to boost economic development and technological advancement in the region.
For Khalil Amiri, the secretary of the Tunisian scientific research, the project BeiDou will help them develop the digital economy of the Arab countries and train scientists of the satellite navigation. Amiri also mentioned about their planned intensifying of cooperation and support to China with regards to Satellite Research industry. Working closely with China to develop effective access and create a win-win database system with the aid of the BeiDou project is their ultimate goal. Not only the BeiDou project that will bind China and other Arab countries but as well as the other satellites which can be used for various purposes.
China preferred to support the BeiDou project instead of supporting the US GPS. BeiDou, named after the Big Dipper Constellation in the Chinese term also aims to compete with the US on its GPS system, the European Union’s Galileo and Russia’s GLONASS.
China plans to send their 18 BeiDou satellites in space this 2018 and the satellite system is expected to deliver positioning services and navigation to all the countries along the Road and Belt in the last quarter of 2018. It was also expected by 2020 to have more than 30 satellites in space and it will go global. By the year 2020, the value of this project is expected to surpass 58 billion US dollars which will go the BeiDou system.