The Saudi-Chinese Investment Forum, which was organized by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) as well as the Saudi Center for Strategic International Partnerships, recently signed 35 unified, bilateral agreements between Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China.
These bilateral economic cooperatives are worth over $28 billion US. Included in these agreements were four licenses that were issued to Chinese companies that specialize in a variety of fields.
There were over one thousand visitors and participants in the forum, including investors and critical decision-makers who have a vested interest in the economic affairs addressed in these agreements.
The focus of the forum was to build greater opportunities for joint cooperatives between these two nations. It focused on bridging the gap through political, social, cultural, and economic areas. Over 25 individuals associated with the Saudi government and private sectors of the Kingdom participated in the forum through an exhibition called ‘Invest Saudi.’
The forum took place while His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense were taking part in an official visit as part of the royal Asian tour.
Attendees from both countries expressed a continuing need to expand areas of partnership and cooperation between the Kingdom and China. This strategic partnership was highlighted by Executive Vice President of the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships, Yasser Al-Dohaim during his opening speech. Recent cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China, he noted, has been crucial for creating new economic opportunities for both nations.
His Excellency the Governor of SAGIA Eng. Ibrahim bin Abdulrahman Al-Omar stated that this forum was a vital step in helping to increase economic relations and cooperation with the People’s Republic of China. He stated that the Kingdom provides exceptional growth potential for Chinese companies and would also serve well the Kingdom’s focus on economic reform that will ultimately strengthen its vision and goals for the future.
SAGIA has taken on critical reform programs that will ultimately benefit key investors. Part of this includes streamlining foreign investment into the Kingdom for which fast-tracking work visas can be a critical component. By streamlining these processes, some work visas can be obtained in less than 24 hours.
Deputy Governor of Investment Attraction & Development at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority Sultan Mufti said during his speech at the forum that Chinese companies operating within the Saudi Arabian market are having a positive economic impact for the Kingdom.
Some of the agreements reached and signed during the forum were focused on renewable energy sectors, including one particular agreement between the General Investment Authority and Goldwind International Holdings that will help boost investment in wind turbines through the manufacture of electric control devices, turbine blades, wind generators, and wind turbine structures. This investment is estimated to be valued at $18 million US. It is anticipated that this agreement would create 800 new job opportunities in a growing sustainable energy sector.
Other agreements involved the petrochemical industry, infrastructure, and information technology.
Numerous high-profile decision-makers within the Kingdom were in attendance at the forum, including representatives from vital Chinese companies and highly regarded economists.
Several of the sessions at this forum focused on mutual interests, sharing knowledge, and boosting investment in these key sectors. The first session was focused on determining a way to improve the economic environment for Chinese investors. The second session highlighted youth in entrepreneurship. The third session maintained its focus on the Saudi Vision 2030 and how that could align with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.
Some of those in attendance included: H.E. Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Eng. Khalid Al-Falih, H.E. Chairman of Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Eng. Abdullah Al-Saadan, the CEO of National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, Eng. Awaid Al-Harthi, Dean of Prince Mohammed bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Asma Siddiki, as well as numerous senior executives of Chinese companies. Some of those included founder and president of Global Education Entrepreneurship Network, Dr. Jonathan Ortman, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NDRC) and Director of the National Bureau of Statistics of China, Mr. Ning Jizhe, the General Manager of Tencent Holdings Limited, Mr. Cheng Wen Qiong, and Chief Executive Officer of Pan-Asia, Mr. Wen Cai Lin.