Saudi Arabia and China sign 34 investment agreements during Xi’s visit

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Saudi and Chinese companies have signed 34 investment agreements during the start of Chinese President Xi Jinping three-day visit to the Kingdom, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday.

Xi arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday. It marks his third overseas journey since the coronavirus pandemic began.

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On Wednesday evening dozens of agreements were signed between Saudi Arabia and China covering several sectors in the fields of green energy, green hydrogen, photovoltaic energy, information technology, cloud services, transportation, logistics, medical industries, housing and construction factories.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment Khalid bin Abdulaziz al-Falih confirmed that the agreements reflect the Kingdom's keenness under the leadership of the King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to develop the Kingdom's relations in all fields including economic and investment with China.

Eng. al-Falih said that this visit reflects the keenness of the leaderships of the two countries to develop and strengthen relations and partnership between the two countries in all fields, including economic and investment, adding that the visit will contribute to raising the pace of economic and investment cooperation between the two countries.

He also explained that the Kingdom and the People's Republic of China have solid relations and a close partnership that witnessed comprehensive development over the past years, especially after the mutual visits between the leaderships of the two countries, which resulted in fruitful cooperation that included various fields.

He further said that the Kingdom, in light of Vision 2030, offers unprecedented investment opportunities in various sectors including renewable energy, industry, communications, information technology, biotechnology, tourism, building and construction, and others, expressing his aspiration to enhance investments between the Kingdom and China.

The volume of trade exchange between the two countries amounted to SAR304 billion ($80 billion) in 2021, and trade exchange in the third quarter of 2022 recorded SAR103 billion ($270 million).

Xi’s visit to the Kingdom will run until December 9 during which a Saudi-China summit headed by King Salman and the Chinese president, with the participation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will be held.

China’s President Xi Jinping arrives in Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh for a three-day visit on December 7, 2022. (SPA)
China’s President Xi Jinping arrives in Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh for a three-day visit on December 7, 2022. (SPA)

Two other summits, a China-Gulf summit and a China-Arab summit, will also be held with leaders from Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Arab states expected to attend.

The Gulf-Chinese summit will be held on Friday, according to GCC Secretary General Nayef al-Hajraf.

Upon his arrival to Riyadh, Xi said that he looked forward to the China-Arab and China-GCC summits, which will be held during his visit to strengthen ties with Arab and Gulf countries.

He added that he will discuss bilateral ties as well as international and regional affairs with King Salman and the Crown Prince during his visit, his first to the Kingdom since 2016.

Commenting on “close ties” between Beijing and Riyadh, Xi said “practical cooperation between the two countries yielded fruitful results in [various] fields.” He said that China and Saudi Arabia continue to “closely coordinate and communicate” regarding regional and international affairs.

He also said that he and King Salman had strengthened ties between the two countries ever since establishing the comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016, “strongly contributing to improving peace, stability and development in the region.”

Earlier this week, SPA reported that more than 20 initial agreements worth SAR 110 billion ($29.26 billion) will be signed during Xi Jinping’s visit to the Kingdom.

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Chinese President Xi arrives in Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh on three-day visit