Saudi Arabia, China to set up $20bn investment fund

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Saudi King Salman receives Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli in Jeddah on Thursday. (SPA)
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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman holds talks with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli in Jeddah on Thursday. (Royal Palace photo /Bandar Al-Jaloud via Arab News)
Updated 25 August 2017

Saudi Arabia, China to set up $20bn investment fund

LONDON: Saudi Arabia and China plan to establish a $20 billion investment fund as the Kingdom deepens ties with its biggest Asian oil customer.
King Salman met Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli in Jeddah on Thursday amid a flurry of deal-making between the countries, which are both pursuing economic transformation plans through Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The pair plan to jointly operate the investment fund, sharing costs and profits on a 50:50 basis, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told Reuters on Thursday.
He was speaking on the sidelines of an economic conference where senior officials and businessmen from both countries assembled.
Saudi Arabia is pursuing an aggressive international investment strategy spearheaded by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is taking multibillion-dollar stakes in companies such as Uber Technologies. The PIF is set to become the world’s largest fund when it receives the proceeds from the initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco.
“The key thing in this is the increasing economic relations between Saudi Arabia and China, which is its main customer for oil,” Jason Tuvey, an economist at London-based Capital Economics, told Arab News.
“It sees China as its main growth engine at a time when demand for oil in many developed markets is falling. Saudi Aramco will want to make sure it remains the ‘go to’ oil producer for China.”
The closer ties between China and Saudi Arabia may also extend to international debt markets if the Kingdom looks to add foreign bond sales denominated in yuan as well as dollars.
“One of our main objectives is to diversify the funding basis of Saudi Arabia,” Vice Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri told the Jeddah conference, Reuters reported.
“We will do that through access to investors or bodies of liquidity in the markets. China is by far one of the top markets. We will also access other technical markets in terms of unique funding opportunities, private placements, panda bonds and others.”
Such overseas debt sales could not only help the country reduce its deficit but also fund job-creating investments at home.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is driving an ambitious economic diversification plan which aims to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and boost investment in new sectors.
He also co-chairs the high-level Saudi-Chinese Joint Committee with Zhang.
The first meeting of the committee was held in Beijing a year ago.


Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

Updated 15 November 2019

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

  • MoUs with top firms such as Chinese tech giant Huawei, French oil major Total open new opportunities

RIYADH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Foundation Misk Initiatives Center has signed 12 memorandums of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh with local and international companies to support and develop youth talent.

Among the companies were the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the French oil firm Total, the Emirati Federal Youth Authority, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The agreements stipulated joint work between the two parties in the fields of talent development in Saudi Arabia and information and communications technology, in accordance with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

This initiative aims to find ways of cooperation and employment opportunities between the two parties.

The MoU signed between the center and the Emirati Federal Youth Authority provides for the enhancement of joint cooperation in support of youth. 

The two parties will seek to discuss future cooperation, to build a strategic partnership between the two parties in exploring potential cooperative opportunities and setting a framework for such cooperation, in addition to organizing the exchange of technologies and innovations through the joint organization of courses, forums and workshops.

The MoU aims at creating a specialized scientific dialogue between the two parties, conducting joint research at the institutes in the field of entrepreneurship and the skills of the future, considering launching joint initiatives, and examining the possibilities of cooperative programs based on the extensive experience of Misk and the Federal Youth Authority.

Misk’s Initiatives Center agreement with Total will promote joint cooperation, find training opportunities for Saudi talent at the company’s headquarters and facilities, and cooperate on educational programs that support entrepreneurship and an ecosystem for startup companies, especially in the fields of energy and technology.

The Misk Global Forum also witnessed the signing of a MoU with “Hub71” to promote learning and leadership among Saudi youth, and enhance opportunities for joint collaboration, in addition to two MoUs with 500 startups and seed stars “to promote joint cooperation between the two parties, to develop and grow the business of startups and provide them with the necessary
environment.”

Misk also signed a MoU with the Public Institution for Education and Global Leadership to promote joint cooperation and achieve the objectives of both sides, to support innovation initiatives that instill the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, as well as the establishment and organization of entrepreneurship approaches. 

Both parties agreed to focus on exploring potential collaborative opportunities related to the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and establish a competition with competitors coming from 170 countries.

Both parties also agreed to support international competitions aimed at identifying the best solutions in various fields and sectors, as well as exchanging programs on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The center has signed a MoU with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to discuss the possibility of providing training programs and courses for the center’s employees of the Fund and the relevant authorities. In addition to discussing available opportunities for cooperative training within the Fund, and providing opportunities for participation and contribution of the Fund’s staff in Misk’s programs.

The MoU aims to explore the benefits of existing agreements between the two parties with international financial and educational institutions, in order to find opportunities that provide programs, training and educational courses, and granting cooperative trainings for Saudi youth in those global institutions.

The center also signed a MoU with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), aiming to enhance joint cooperation on educational technology and its integration into the educational systems in the Islamic world.

An MoU with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will enhance the cooperation between the two parties in several initiatives, including academic development, training, entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

An MoU with Endeavor Saudi Arabia will support the Kingdom’s youth, enhance their talents and potential, stimulate economic growth, and find ways of cooperation between the two parties that serve their common interests.

The center’s MoU with the Ministry of Economy and Planning aims to spread awareness, provide new information on the education and training of human resources in the administrative and economic fields, youth empowerment, and coordinate efforts to raise their abilities.

The MoU aims to create cooperative training opportunities in local and international institutions with the purpose of workforce growth in the Kingdom’s economic sector, contributing to the development of national competencies in the economy, policies and procedures, strategic planning, in addition to providing job opportunities for graduates from areas that serve the interests of both parties and support the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.