Arab-China Business Conference concludes with launch of Riyadh Declaration

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The 10th edition of the Arab-China Business Conference concluded in Saudi Arabia’s capital city on Monday with the announcement of the Riyadh Declaration framework on strengthening economic and investment partnerships.

The declaration laid the foundation for continued collaboration between China and Arab countries, with a focus on nine main points, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

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These are: strengthening economic partnerships, exploring new opportunities for cooperation, supporting entrepreneurship, exchanging research and scientific innovations, organizing training programs to enhance human capital, activating cooperation to achieve market stability, addressing socioeconomic challenges, strengthening economic integration, and amplifying renewable energy sources.

Investment deals worth $10 billion

The first day of the conference featured the signing of $10 billion worth of investment agreements, spanning more than 30 deals in various sectors.

One of the most notable agreements signed was a $5.6 billion agreement between Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment and Chinese developer of autonomous driving technology Human Horizons, which makes electric cars under the HiPhi brand.

The deal aims to establish a joint venture for automotive research manufacturing and distribution.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry, SABATCO, and Hong Kong-based Android developer Hibobi Technology Ltd. were among the other organizations who signed agreements during the conference’s opening day.

The Arab-China Business Conference comes at a time of growing trade between Arab countries and China, which reached $430 billion in 2022, SPA reported.

Trade between China and Saudi Arabia alone exceeded $106 billion last year, representing a 30 percent growth rate during 2021.

A milestone development in Arab-Chinese partnerships

Held under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the conference was the largest edition to date and a milestone development in Arab-Chinese economic partnerships, according to SPA.

During the inauguration speech, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin emphasized the importance of multilateral economic cooperation between Arab countries and China.

“Our shared ambitions of collaborating for prosperity indicate a joint mutual vision that lays within the economic investment relations between the Arab countries & and China, shedding light on how we work together to build a better future for generations to come,” Prince Faisal said at the start of the conference.

Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan speaks at the Arab-China Business Conference in Riyadh. (Twitter)
Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan speaks at the Arab-China Business Conference in Riyadh. (Twitter)

The Arab-China Business Conference welcomed leaders from the public and private sectors, innovators, decision-makers, entrepreneurs, investors, and senior officials from 26 countries to explore the future of commercial relations between the Arab world and China.

Hosted in Saudi Arabia for the first time and organized by the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA), the conference was held in partnership with the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the Union of Arab Chambers.

The two-day event featured keynote speeches, panel discussions and in-depth sector insights pinpointing means of cooperation in a range of sectors including technology, renewables, agriculture, real estate, minerals, logistics, tourism, and healthcare.

The 11th edition of the Arab-China Business Conference is scheduled to take place in China in 2025.

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