Saudi Arabia

Saudi Announces Plan To Open Modern China-Arab ‘Silk Road’

The Saudi investment ministry on Monday announced that a modern “Silk Road” will be opened between China and Arab countries to help Saudi Arabia diversify its economy and improve the skills of its youth at the 10th Arab-China Business Conference. The two-day event, which opened in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Sunday, is the largest in scale since its inception in 2005, with over 3,000 participants joining this year.

The first day of the conference witnessed the signing of more than 30 groundbreaking agreements valued at over 70 billion yuan (about 9.8 billion U.S. dollars), illustrating the immense potential of economic and investment cooperation between China and Arab countries. The economic and trade cooperation between China and Arab countries is highly complementary.

Judging from the results of this conference, the economic and trade cooperation between the two sides has extended from traditional oil and gas energy to the fields of science and technology, renewable energy, minerals, supply chains, tourism, and healthcare.

“We think that, on the whole, Saudi Arabia and many countries in the Middle East are full of opportunities today. They also welcome Chinese enterprises with core independent intellectual property rights to come and cooperate with them,” said Yin Ye, CEO of China’s biotech giant, BGI Genomics Co., Ltd.

According to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post report on Monday, Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih and Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and several senior Saudi officials all expressed the hope of further strengthening relations with China at the meeting. Al-Falih also said he wished to visit China as soon as possible.

Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud said that Saudi Arabia is advancing its “Vision 2030,” and China is implementing the Belt and Road Initiative. Hence there are synergies between the two countries.

Speaking at the event, the energy minister made it clear that Saudi Arabia wants cooperation rather than competition with China when talking about the suspicion of the West towards the growing relationship between Saudi Arabia and China.


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