The Saudi capital is preparing to launch the 10th session of the Arab-Chinese Business Conference and the eighth investment symposium under the slogan, “Cooperation for Prosperity”, which is expected to enhance integration efforts between Beijing and the Arab countries.
The conference will be held on June 11-12 in Riyadh, with the participation of 23 countries, and more than 2,000 high-level government representatives, senior officials, CEOs, investors and entrepreneurs, who are looking forward for opportunities of cooperation and agreements between Arab countries and China, in a way that strengthens the existing Arab-Chinese strategic partnership.
The conference is organized by the ministries of Investment and Foreign Affairs, in partnership with the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the Union of Arab Chambers and a number of government agencies.
The major event aims to boost cooperation in the areas of the economy, trade and investment to achieve the mutual interests of Arab nations and China through strategic collaboration.
Saudi Investment Minister Khaled Al-Falih said that trade and cultural ties between Arab countries and China extended over 2,000 years, adding that the conference would further highlight this historic relationship.
“Trade and cultural ties between Arab countries and the People’s Republic of China extend over 2,000 years, but have deepened significantly given the complementary nature of our economies in sectors critical to the global economy. The Arab-China Business Conference will enable public and private sector participants to discuss the future of these collaborations,” the minister stated.
He also stressed that Saudi-Chinese relations had greatly developed, especially following King Salman bin Abdulaziz’ visit to China in 2017 and the two historic visits by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Beijing in 2016 and 2019.
Al-Falih said that the Saudi crown prince has underlined at the time that China’s Belt and Road initiative and strategic directions converged to a large extent with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. He underlined in this context the importance of achieving all the gains and confronting all the challenges facing the two countries.
“China’s strategic direction aligns with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. In recognition of the importance of leveraging each region’s strengths, we look forward to the conference providing a forum to explore mutually beneficial opportunities,” he said.
Trade in 2022 between the Arab countries and China reached SR1.6 trillion ($430 billion), a 31 percent increase on the previous year.
The minister also indicated that China was the Kingdom’s first trading partner, with a volume of trade exchange that reached about 400 billion riyals ($106 billion) in 2022, with a growth of about 30 percent from 2021.
Al-Falih added that the conference comes as a culmination of the unprecedented development in cooperation and partnership between the Arab countries and the People’s Republic of China.
He noted that the Saudi Crown Prince has affirmed that Arab-Chinese relations were based on cooperation and mutual respect and called for the need to strengthen partnership between the two sides.
The conference agenda features many dialogue sessions and bilateral meetings on the development of Arab-Chinese relations and prospects for investment within China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Participants will also review investment opportunities in a variety of economic sectors, and the means to mobilize efforts to achieve sustainable development in Arab countries and China.
The Arab countries aspire to benefit from the strategic partnership with China, the second largest economy in the world.
The conference will also witness the signing of many agreements and memorandums of understanding, and a review of investment opportunities in various fields.
Discussion topics will focus on promising economic sectors, most notably manufacturing industries, digital economy and artificial intelligence, renewable energy, agriculture and food security, construction and real estate activities, mining, tourism and entertainment, infrastructure, logistics, and entrepreneurship and innovation.