China studying plan to build cars in Saudi Arabia

There are currently 150 Chinese companies active in Saudi Arabia

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China is studying whether its automakers could start manufacturing cars in Saudi Arabia to help meet increasing demand, an official told Aleqtisadiah newspaper.

“There is an initial desire for the production of cars [in Saudi Arabia], but the idea is still undergoing studies,” Li Chenwang, China’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia told the newspaper.

The official did not specify which of China’s automakers may be involved in the studies.

There are currently 150 Chinese companies active in Saudi Arabia, in various sectors including contracting, infrastructure, telecoms, trade and renewable and alternative energy, according to the official.

“We aim to expand work between the two countries, and find more vitality and activity through common paths,” he added.

Several global automakers have reportedly been considering proposals to set up plants to manufacture cars in the kingdom, Arab News reported in June.

“Ford has been seriously studying establishing production lines in the Saudi local market for more than a year now,” Arab News quoted Nabil al-Husin, a member of the National Committee for Car representatives at the Council of Saudi Chambers and a Ford representative, as saying.

General Motors and Chrysler were also studying whether to establish plants in Saudi Arabia, the newspaper added.

Saudi Arabia’s car imports increased 33 percent during 2012, as the kingdom imported 982,000 cars from various brands, up from 737,000 cars imported in 2011, the Saudi Gazette reported in August.

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