500 Saudis, Chinese businessmen discuss new opportunities
A one-day Saudi-Chinese Investment Forum ended in an upbeat mood on Thursday with 45 agreements signed between China and the Kingdom.
Abdullah Al-Meleihi, board member of the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC), told Arab News from Beijing that the Saudi government also issued licenses to two big Chinese firms.
He added that the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) made a presentation on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
He added that King Salman attended the closing ceremony with Minister of Economy and Planning Adel Fakeih delivering the closing address.
He said that more than 500 Saudi and Chinese businessmen attended the forum held in conjunction with Salman’s visit.
“The Saudi businessmen and Chinese counterparts did mega business deals during King Salman’s visit to China,” Al-Meleihi said.
He noted that Saudi-Chinese trade relationship has increased gradually over the years and the Kingdom has regained its position as the largest supplier of crude oil to China, citing data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs.
The data indicated that China’s imports of Saudi crude oil increased 18.9 percent in January to reach 5.03 million tons or the equivalent of 1.18 trillion barrels per day.
Al-Meleihi noted that there had been a growing Chinese interest in Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO) ahead of King Salman’s visit to Asia.
Reuters reported earlier that Saudi Aramco had asked JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley to assist with its mammoth initial public share offer and could call on another bank with access to Chinese investors.
Al-Meleihi, who is also the chairman of Al Ramez International Group, added that China remains the largest trading partner of Arab countries that include the Kingdom, Egypt and Iraq.
He added that the latest figures from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce showed that the total business volume between China and Arab countries in 2016 touched $171.14 billion.