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Saudi-Chinese Joint Investment Fund to Boost Economic Relations | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih attends a meeting of the 4th OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee in St. Petersburg, Russia July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Jeddah- Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih revealed that a Beijing-Riyadh joint investment fund will be established in the upcoming days.

In addition to the fund, he expected 11 business agreements worth about $20 billion to be signed between the two sides on Thursday. He did not give details.

Saudi Arabia and China plan to establish and operate jointly a $20 billion investment fund, sharing costs and profits on a 50:50 basis, Saudi Energy Minister Falih told Reuters on Thursday.

The energy minister also said that the joint investment fund will serve the Saudi Kingdom’s transformational vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi Vision 2030 is a plan to reduce the Kingdom’s oil dependence, diversify its economy, and develop service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation, and tourism.

On the other hand, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a development strategy proposed by China’s leader Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the ocean-going Maritime Silk Road (MSR).

The Cabinet also approved the authorization of the Minister of Justice or his deputy to discuss with the Chinese side a draft judicial cooperation agreement between Saudi Arabia and China, according to a Saudi Press Agency report.

Falih was in China last week where he met with Chinese senior vice-premier Zhang Gaoli ahead of a visit by a Chinese delegation to the kingdom this week for the second round of meetings of a Saudi-Chinese Joint Committee.

Falih also said that China views Saudi Arabia as the leader of the Islamic and Arab worlds, as well as being a major center of stability in the region.

Based on this consensus and vision, there is collaboration in many fields– noting that the forum, to be held in Jeddah on Thursday, will see a focus on multiple areas of Saudi -Chinese cooperation.

Falih said that the joint committee includes five sub-committees, encompassing all strategic axes shared by the two countries, including political, security, military and commercial and cultural exchanges.