China seeks closer ties with Saudi Arabia on ‘Belt and Road Initiative’

Chinese Ambassador Li Huaxin
Updated 11 May 2017
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China seeks closer ties with Saudi Arabia on ‘Belt and Road Initiative’

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and China could work together and link Saudi Vision 2030 and China’s “One Belt One Road Initiative” for the benefit of both countries, said Ambassador Li Huaxin following a press conference recently at the Chinese Embassy in Riyadh.
“If we connect them together, it will create very good opportunities for both sides and not just the two sides, even other sides will benefit from this connection,” he said.
“I can tell you that different government bodies and ministries met to discuss it; they already have some specific projects in this field and hope this will come true very soon.”
Saudi Vision 2030 aims to diversify revenue sources and develop a knowledge-based economy while the “One Belt One Road Initiative” aims to create the largest economic corridor in the world.
“We think Vision 2030 is a sustainable development strategy by the Kingdom and offers a good chance for Chinese companies to participate to work together to benefit both sides,” Li said.
At the press conference, the ambassador said the “Belt and Road Forum” for international cooperation will be held next week on May 14 and 15 in Beijing.
The forum aims to build a more open and effective international platform for cooperation and partnership. The envoy said that China has invited leaders of nearly 20 countries to attend the forum to discuss how to take this initiative forward in the future.
He said the Kingdom has also been invited, but since King Salman visited China in March, Khalid Al-Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources is going to attend the forum instead with a delegation including senior officials and businessmen.
He said Al-Falih will be speaking at a session, adding: “I think it is a good opportunity to share his ideas at this important forum, especially how to build this initiative in the future.”
President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the forum, he added.
The forum has been designed to identify cooperation directions, push forward the implementation of projects and improve supporting systems.
The Belt and Road comprises the land-based Silk Road economic belt and the 21st-century maritime Silk Road, which were put forward for the first time by President Xi in September and October 2013 in his subsequent state visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia.


Major boost for Al-Jouf as Saudi king set to announce new city

King Salman arrived in Al-Jouf on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 21 November 2018
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Major boost for Al-Jouf as Saudi king set to announce new city

  • The king will launch Waad Al-Shamaal, a new city aimed at boosting the country’s mining infrastructure

JEDDAH: Projects worth several billion riyals are to be unveiled by Saudi Arabia’s king this week as he continues his tour of the country’s regions.
King Salman arrived in the province of Al-Jouf on Tuesday night where he will announce the construction of a new city, bolstering the local economy and creating thousands of jobs in Saudi Arabia’s most northern region.
On Thursday, the king will launch Waad Al-Shamaal, a new city aimed at boosting the country’s mining infrastructure, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 
He will lay the foundation stone for the first phase of the SR85 billion ($22 billion) city in Toriaf province — worth SR55 billion —  and is also set to inaugurate the projects and facilities of the second phase — worth SR30 billion.
In the past two months the king has visited a number of major cities, announcing projects and initiatives to develop the Kingdom inline with Vision 2030 — a broad strategic plan to diversify the economy and end dependence on oil revenues.
Before arriving in Al-Jouf, King Salman visited Tabuk, where several projects worth more than SR11 billion were launched.
He also met the team heading Amaala, the ultra-luxurious tourist destination that was unveiled in September and dubbed the “Riviera of the Middle East,” and was briefed on plans for the new attraction.
King Salman praised Amaala’s objectives to contribute to promoting economic diversification, creating investment opportunities for the private sector, and developing the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia while preserving the cultural and environmental heritage.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced yet another major project in western Saudi Arabia.
Wadi Al-Disah Development Project, which is expected to become one of the Kingdom’s most environmentally diverse tourist attractions, adds to a number of already launched ventures on western coastal regions.
PIF will establish a company to develop Wadi Al-Disah in accordance with international best practices regarding environmental conservation and sustainable development.
In addition to this week’s tour, the king has so far visited Madinah, Qassim and Hail.