RIYADH: Riyadh and Beijing have inked a dozen cooperation agreements worth over $1.33 billion on the sidelines of the Saudi-Chinese Business Forum, bolstering collaboration in key sectors such as infrastructure, financing and housing.
The developments at the event, being held in Beijing, signify the deepening ties between the two countries, paving the way for enhanced growth and shared progress, Saudi Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing Majid Al-Hogail said in a tweet.
These partnerships are set to foster advancements in key areas, including five focused on real estate developments, signaling a promising trajectory for the mutual growth of the Kingdom and China, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
During the forum, Al-Hogail stressed the Kingdom’s dedication to enhancing its partnership with China as he spoke about several achievements, such as the three summits during the Chinese President’s visit to Saudi Arabia in December.
The minister also shed light on the comprehensive strategic partnership agreement between the two countries, including an action plan for cooperation in the housing sector.
With the construction of over 300,000 housing units across 17 Saudi cities, covering an area of over 150 million square meters, and valued at over SR100 billion ($26.66 billion), the Kingdom holds significant investment opportunities, Al-Hogail emphasized.
Moreover, he revealed that the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing is working hand in hand with several Chinese companies on housing projects worth an accumulated SR3 billion.
The forum explored investment opportunities between the two sides, bolstering collaborations in urban infrastructure, housing, real estate development and financing.
Saudi Arabia and China sealed 35 investment agreements worth around $30 billion during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Kingdom last December.
According to a Belt and Road Initiative report, Saudi Arabia remains one of China’s most vital global trade partners, leading Chinese engagement in the construction sector during the first half of 2023.
China is Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner. According to Reuters news agency, bilateral trade between the two countries hit $87.3 billion in 2021, with Chinese exports to the Kingdom reaching $30.3 billion and China’s imports from Saudi Arabia totaling $57 billion.
China’s main exports to Saudi Arabia are textiles, electronics and machinery, while China mainly imports crude oil and primary plastics from the Kingdom. In the first 10 months of 2022, China’s Saudi oil imports reached 1.77 million barrels per day, valued at $55.5 billion, according to Chinese customs data.
Saudi Arabia represented 25 percent of the $432 billion trade between China and Arab countries in 2022.