RIYADH: In a bid to strengthen trade ties between Arab nations and China, the Saudi capital Riyadh is set to host a major business event on June 11 and 12 at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center.
The 10th Arab-China Business Conference is being organized under the theme “Collaborating for Prosperity.” The event aims to identify key areas of cooperation between the Arab countries and the Asian economic giant.
The conference is organized by Saudi Arabia’s Investment Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Arab League, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the Union of Arab Chambers. It is touted to be the largest Arab-Chinese business gathering with more than 2,000 participants.
According to the conference’s website, the two-day event will feature networking events as well as panel discussions covering a wide range of topics including China’s Belt and Road Initiative, renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, startups, esports, tourism, and food security.
Some of the keynote speakers at the event include Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Royal Commission of AlUla CEO Amr Al-Madani, Fahd Alajlan, president of King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, and Fahd Cynndy, CEO of Saudi Aerospace Engineering Industries.
Other speakers scheduled for the event include Laura May-Lung Cha, chairperson of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, secretary-general of the League of Arab States, and Tong Li, CEO of Bank of China International Holdings.
As many as 20 panel discussions and workshops will be organized during the event where top CEOs, business owners, investors, and government officials will share their views to strengthen trade ties between the region and China.
The conference is expected to catalyze the trade ties between Saudi Arabia and the Asian giant, as both countries are currently focused on developing several strategic sectors.
Earlier in June, the Saudi energy minister met with Zhang Jianhua, administrator of the National Energy Administration of China, and his accompanying delegation in Riyadh to discuss ways to strengthen relations between the two countries in various fields of energy, in order to achieve the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and China’s BRI.
The meeting also discussed the importance of ensuring the security of energy supply to markets, joint projects to convert crude oil into petrochemicals, and innovative uses of hydrocarbons.
In May, China’s Baoshan Iron and Steel Co. announced its plans to invest SR15 billion ($4 billion) in a project in Ras Al-Khair’s economic zone to manufacture metal plates.
In March, energy giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co. also inked a deal with China’s Norinco Group and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group to form a joint venture to construct a refinery and petrochemical complex in China’s Liaoning province.
Saudi Aramco will own 30 percent stakes in the joint venture called Hujain Aramco Petrochemical Co., while Norinco Group and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group will hold 51 percent and 19 percent shares respectively.
Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih recently said that the trade and cultural relationship between Arab nations and China has always been strong.
“Trade and cultural ties between Arab countries and 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,” said Al-Falih.
He added: “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.”