The Saudi-Chinese Investment Forum, organized by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Saudi Center for Strategic International Partnerships, concluded today with the signing of 35 bilateral economic cooperation agreements between Saudi Arabia and the People's Republic of China, worth over $ 28 billion. Four licenses were also granted to Chinese companies specializing in a number of fields. The forum was attended by more than 1000 participants and visitors, including decision makers and investors and individuals interested in economic affairs.
The forum coincided with the official visit of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense, to the People's Republic of China as part of his Asian tour which aimed at enhancing opportunities for joint cooperation between the two countries in various political, economic, social and cultural fields. More than 25 entities from government and private sectors in the Kingdom participated in the exhibition accompanying the forum which was entitled ‘Invest Saudi’.
Representatives from both countries who participated in the discussions and workshops highlighted the need to further expand areas of partnership and cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China.
In his opening speech, the Executive Vice President of the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships, Yasser Al-Dohaim, also focused on the importance of this strategic partnership and its pivotal role in boosting and developing cooperation between the two countries. Recently, cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China has helped to create new and innovative economic opportunities.
His Excellency the Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Eng. Ibrahim bin Abdulrahman Al-Omar, noted that this forum represents an important step towards boosting joint economic cooperation with China.
His Excellency also pointed out that the Kingdom offers significant growth potential for the growth of Chinese companies, not to mention that the Kingdom’s regulatory economic reform only serves to strengthen its leading position as an economic destination.
His Excellency also noted that SAGIA has adopted a comprehensive reform program that will benefit investors. This includes facilitating the entry of foreign investment into the Kingdom and streamlining procedures for issuing work visas – often in less than 24 hours, as well as granting licenses to foreign companies in a period that does not exceeding a single day.
For his part, Deputy Governor of Investment Attraction & Development at the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority Sultan Mufti, during his speech at the forum, praised the investment activity of Chinese companies in the Saudi market and commended their contribution to the success of many economic projects in the Kingdom.
During the forum, the General Investment Authority announced the signing of 35 bilateral economic cooperation agreements between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People's Republic of China, worth over US$28 billion as well as granting four licenses to Chinese companies.
Some of the cooperation agreements signed during the forum centered around the Kingdom's target sectors such as renewable energy applications. Among these agreements is the cooperation agreement between the General Investment Authority and Goldwind International Holdings, which aims to boost cooperation and consultation in the field of investment development in wind turbines by manufacturing electric control devices, wind turbine structures, turbine blades and wind generators with an investment estimated at US$18 million.
This agreement also aims to provide 800 new job opportunities in one of the most prominent target sectors of sustainable development. Other agreements have also been signed focusing on several target investment sectors including the petrochemical industry, information technology and infrastructure.
The main sessions of the forum were attended by a number of decision-makers in the Kingdom, and prominent economists and representatives of Chinese companies.
The attendees included H.E. Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Eng.Khalid Al-Falih, H.E. Minister of Commerce and Investment, Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi, H.E. Chairman of Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Eng. Abdullah Al-Saadan, H.E. Director General of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, Dr. Ibrahim bin Saad Al-Mujal, the CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, Eng. Awaid Al-Harthi, as well as the Dean of Prince Mohammad bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Asma Siddiki.
The founder and president of Global Education Entrepreneurship Network, Dr Jonathan Ortman, and a number of senior executives from Chinese companies and institutions, participated in the sessions, including 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; as well as the General Manager of Tencent Holdings Limited, Mr. Cheng Wen Qiong; and the Chief Executive Officer of Pan-Asia for Investment and consulting in green technology, Mr. Wen Cai Lin.
The sessions discussed a number of issues of interest and mutual knowledge in the investment sector. The first session focused on creating a more favorable economic environment for Chinese investors, while the second session dealt with the subject of young entrepreneurs, and the third session centered around ways to align the Saudi Vision 2030 with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.