Billions in agreements expected during China’s president Xi’s visit to Saudi
“SPA” reported that at the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the President of the People’s Republic of China will pay an official visit to the Kingdom during the period from 7 to 9 December 2022, during which he will hold a Saudi-Chinese summit, with the participation of Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman.
Preliminary agreements worth 110 billion riyals (more than $29 billion) will be signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the kingdom starting Wednesday, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
The diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China are witnessing a distinguished and close development, and are moving at an accelerated pace towards greater cooperation and mutual understanding between them in various fields for the benefit of the two friendly countries and people, SPA reported.
The Kingdom’s keenness to develop bilateral relations with the Chinese side comes in the context of its strategic direction to strengthen its bilateral relations and partnerships with all influential countries and international powers, and to establish balanced relations with them that serve the Kingdom’s goals and contribute to protecting its interests.
In January 2016, King Salman received the Chinese President during which time they inaugurated the Yanbu Aramco Sinbok Refining Company (YASREF) project, which represented a new edifice for further partnerships between the Kingdom and China.
The ongoing efforts of the two countries seek to increase coordination and enhance aspects of cooperation in trade and investment, energy, culture, space, and technology and review the prospects of bilateral partnership between the two sides within the scope of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the Belt and Road Initiative.
China has been the Kingdom’s first trade partner for the last 5 years and has been the first destination for the Kingdom’s exports and foreign imports since 2018, as the volume of intra-regional trade reached 309 billion riyals in 2021, an increase of 39% over 2020. The total volume of Saudi exports to China reached 192 billion riyals, including non-oil exports worth 41 billion riyals.
The value of Saudi investments in China amounted to 8.6 billion riyals, and the Kingdom ranked 12th in countries investing in China until the end of 2019, while in contrast, the value of Chinese investments in the Kingdom reached 29 billion riyals by the end of 2021.
The Kingdom seeks to build a strategic partnership that supports trade and investment with the Chinese side, being the largest Arab country receiving Chinese investments during that period with about 39.9 billion dollars.
Recently, 15 Chinese companies have expressed their desire to invest in the Kingdom and enter into privatization projects on a number of government sectors, in addition to infrastructure projects.