Saudi Arabia Receives Largest Share of China's BRI Investments

Saudi Arabia is seeking to increase investments and trade exchange worldwide. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Arabia is seeking to increase investments and trade exchange worldwide. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Arabia Receives Largest Share of China's BRI Investments

Saudi Arabia is seeking to increase investments and trade exchange worldwide. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Saudi Arabia is seeking to increase investments and trade exchange worldwide. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia is the largest recipient of Chinese investments within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during the first half of 2022, according to a recent report.

China's Belt and Road Initiative aims to improve interconnection and cooperation across continents and move to jointly establish the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st century Maritime Silk Road.

The Chinese government has focused on the international community, especially the countries along the initiative's paths, to further its initiative.

A report by the Shanghai-based Green Finance and Development Center indicated that gas commitments were higher than in the past two years and accounted for 56 percent of China's energy contributions in 2021.

Saudi Arabia was the primary recipient of gas investments by about $4.6 billion, followed by Iraq.

Saudi Arabia was the primary recipient of Chinese investments, while various countries saw no Chinese engagement in H1 2022, including Russia, Sri Lanka, and Egypt.

According to the report, BRI finance and investments are steady at low levels in the first half of 2022 at $28.4 billion, compared to $29.6 billion in the first half of 2021.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom's merchandise exports reached $38.4 billion in May, compared to $21 billion during the same month last year, an 83.4 percent increase of $17.3 billion.

The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) revealed that oil exports increased in May to $30.9 billion, compared to $15.2 billion during the same month in 2021, a 105.5 percent rise.

The report showed the trade balance of exports and imports rose about threefold in May to $24 billion, compared to the same month last year, which reached $9 billion.

It indicated that last May's non-oil exports (including re-exports) amounted to $7.4 billion, compared to $5.8 billion in the same month the previous year, a $1.6 billion increase.

Data showed that the value of the Kingdom's merchandise imports during May amounted to $14.4 billion, compared to $11.7 billion in the same month of 2021, a 21.8 percent hike.

The report revealed that the Kingdom's exports to China last May reached $5.1 billion, 13.3 percent of the total exports, making it the leading destination for Saudi Arabia, followed by India and Japan, amounting to $3.9 billion.

GASTAT is the only official statistical reference for statistical data and information in Saudi Arabia.

It executes all the statistical work and technical oversight of the statistical sector, designs and implements field surveys, conducts statistical studies and research, and analyzes data and information.

The authority also documents and archives the information and statistical data covering all aspects of Saudi Arabia's life from multiple sources.



EU States Agree on 14th Sanctions Package Against Russia

The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)
The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)
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EU States Agree on 14th Sanctions Package Against Russia

The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)
The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)

European Union countries agreed on a 14th package of sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine, diplomats said on Thursday, including a ban on re-exports of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) in EU waters.
Belgium, which holds the rotating EU presidency until July 1, said on the X platform that the package "maximizes the impact of existing sanctions by closing loopholes".
Countries debated the new measures for over a month and ultimately watered down one of the Commission's proposals, aimed at preventing even more circumvention, at Germany's prompting, Reuters reported.
The dropped measure would have forced subsidiaries of EU companies in third countries to contractually prohibit the re-exports of their goods to Russia. The EU is keen to stop the flow of dual-use technology such as washing machine chips that could be used by Russia for military purposes.
An EU diplomat said Germany had asked for an impact assessment, and the measure could be included at a later date.
The ban on trans-shipments is the first restriction the bloc has applied to LNG. However, gas market experts say the measure will have little impact as Europe is still buying Russian gas itself, and trans-shipments via EU ports to Asia represent only around 10% of total Russian LNG exports.
The package also tightens measures against the shadow fleet moving Russian oil outside the price cap on Russian crude set by the Group of Seven (G7) nations. EU countries added tankers to the list of sanctioned entities as well as at least two Russian-owned ships moving military equipment from North Korea, diplomats said.
Overall, 47 new entities and 69 individuals were added to the EU sanctions list, bringing the total to 2,200. The package is expected to be formally approved when EU foreign ministers meet on Monday, diplomats said.