Jeddah- Saudi Arabia and China sealed 11 new deals worth around $20 billion to reinforce strategic partnership between the two countries. The kingdom also granted 11 investment licenses to four firms.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih announced on Thursday in Jeddah signing a MoU between the Sino-Saudi governments to establish a joint investment fund, expressing hope that Saudi Arabia would get the lion’s stake.
He added during the inauguration of the Sino-Saudi Investment Forum that 11 business agreements worth about $20 billion were signed, following 60 MoUs already signed between the two sides worth $70 billion.
Falih called on companies to urge their private sectors to seek opportunities in Saudi Arabia and to consider the kingdom as a platform for them to grow and access promising and developing markets.
He noted that the kingdom welcomes Chinese firms’ investments and contributions within its pursuit towards economy diversification through promising sectors such as infrastructure, transport projects and various industries.
Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed al-Qasabi stated that the kingdom had launched Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program along with 12 development programs to form a global investment power.
“We hope that Saudi Arabia becomes the first investment partner of China in the region,” he added.
Qasabi told Asharq Al-Awsat that granting licenses for Chinese firms was subsequent to these meetings, since forums reinforce ties and unveil investment opportunities.
Deputy Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed al-Tuwaijri told Asharq Al-Awsat that the investment fund would be a large stride.
He added that there is a wish to get funding from various banks, in a step to diversify financial strategies, noting that there is a future meeting to be held to coordinate with Sino firms as well as weekly meetings in the kingdom to enhance efficiency and practicability.