Saudi Arabia is a strategic hub on the path of the Chinese “Silk Road” initiative, which converges with the Kingdom’s ambitious 2030 vision sponsored by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and aims to diversify financial revenues and comprehensive economic reforms in his country.
The Silk Road is an initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, by establishing a land belt of roads and railways that pass through Central Asia and Russia, and a sea route connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe at a cost of more than a trillion dollars.
China relies on Saudi Arabia’s pivotal role in activating the initiative, based on the strong economic relations between them and the Kingdom’s distinguished geographical location with its huge geographical area and coasts overlooking the Red Sea, one of the arteries of the “Chinese initiative”, unlike the Kingdom’s Arab and Islamic weight.
The initiative also coincides with the ambitious plan of the Crown Prince known as the “2030 Initiative”, as he previously mentioned, in reference to the comprehensive economic reform program in the Kingdom, during his participation in the Saudi-Chinese Investment Forum in Beijing early last year that “the Arabian Peninsula is a major part of the initiative”.
The Crown Prince affirmed that “the Silk Road Initiative converges, and China’s strategic orientations, in a very large way, with the Kingdom’s vision 2030”.
At that time, the Chinese President called, during his meeting with the Crown Prince, to accelerate the signing of agreements aimed at integrating his country’s initiative with the Saudi Vision 2030 to develop strategic relations between the two countries.
The initiative forms the pillars of the ambitious renaissance of the countries of the region that are witnessing major transformations in the field of diversifying the economy, developing infrastructure, providing job opportunities, and achieving sustainable development.
The “Belt and Road” initiative includes more than 60 countries in the continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa, whose economies reach more than a trillion dollars, with a ratio of nearly one-third of the current global economy.
Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Majed Al-Qasabi, in turn, affirmed that the serious Chinese efforts to revive the Silk Road, with a focus in the Middle East, to connect the East of the Globe with its West, are consistent with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
In statements during the Saudi-Chinese Investment Forum last year, he said, “The vision is based on transforming the Kingdom’s unique strategic location between the main global waterways into a global logistics center and benefiting”.
From this to making the Kingdom a point of contact between Asia, Europe, and Africa, a center of trade and a gateway to global markets, and thus the Kingdom can play a vital and pivotal role in implementing the Silk Road strategy.
And Riyadh and Beijing previously signed a memorandum of understanding on enhancing cooperation in the Economic Belt, Silk Road, and production capacity initiative.
In its endeavor to take steps towards the revival of the Silk Road project, the Kingdom established the Saudi Silk Road Company, as one of the new economic arms that will contribute to attracting foreign investments.