Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Saudi Arabia and China sign 30 agreements worth $10bn

Saudi investment minister Khalid Al Falih told the conference he expects a GCC-China free trade deal to be finalised soon SPA
Saudi investment minister Khalid Al Falih told the conference he expects a GCC-China free trade deal to be finalised soon

Saudi Arabia and China signed 30 investment agreements worth over $10 billion (SAR37.5 billion) on the first day of the Arab-China Business Conference in Riyadh.

Deals were made in sectors including technology, renewables, agriculture, real estate, minerals, supply chains, tourism and healthcare.

One of the largest was a $5.6 billion agreement between the Saudi investment ministry and Human Horizons, a Chinese electric car maker, to collaborate on developing, manufacturing and selling vehicles.

More than 3,500 business leaders attended the two-day conference.

China’s outward foreign direct investment has increased by 20 percent each year over the past decade. The Arab world accounts for about $23 billion of the total, said investment minister Khalid Al Falih.

“There is, however, potential to increase investment flows in the other direction, to take advantage of China’s large and prosperous market,” he said, adding that FDI volume in China in 2021 stood at some $3.6 trillion.

Prince Abdulaziz, Saudi’s energy’s minister, told the conference that the kingdom wants to collaborate with China, not compete. He added that he “ignored” Western suspicions over their growing ties, Reuters reported.

“Oil demand in China is still growing, so of course, we have to capture some of that demand,” the energy minister said.

Negotiations for a free trade deal between China and the GCC began in 2004.

Al Falih said any agreement needs to protect emerging Gulf industries as the region diversifies towards non-oil economic sectors.

“We need to enable and empower our industries to export, so we hope all countries that negotiate with us for free trade deals know we need to protect our new, emerging industries,” Al Falih said.

He added that he expects the free trade deal to be finalised soon.

Latest articles

Residents use kayaks to evacuate their flooded residential complex in Dubai following the April storm

Floods prompt Abu Dhabi to issue urban planning tender

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipalities and Transport has issued a tender for studies to aid the city’s urban planning efforts, including infrastructure resilience during storms. The tender for consultancy services opened last month and closes on July 4. It emerges after UAE president Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered an urgent review of the […]

Qatar Kazakh mobile network

Qatar company buys Kazakh mobile network for $1bn

Qatar Power International Holding has bought Kazakhstan’s largest mobile phone network. The Qatari company, a private conglomerate based in Lusail, has bought Kazakhtelecom subsidiary Mobile Telecom-Service LLP, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Kazakh government on Tuesday. Mobile Telecom-Service LLP is a joint venture between Swedish telco Tele2 and Kazakh high speed mobile internet […]

Saudi imports GCC

UAE dominates Saudi imports

Saudi Arabia’s imports from its neighbouring five GCC countries rose 5 percent to SAR21 billion ($5.6 billion) in the first quarter of 2024. Oman led the growth, but goods trade with Qatar suffered a steep decline, according to figures from Saudi platform Argaam, citing the Saudi General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT). Goods shipped from the […]

It is hoped the use of AI will speed up the time-consuming process of screening patients for cancer

Mubadala-backed US startup working on AI cancer care

A US genomics startup, backed by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, is working with ChatGPT creator OpenAI to improve cancer screening and treatment using artificial intelligence models. Color Health, which uses data science and machine learning for genetic testing and counselling in hereditary cancer and heart conditions, has developed an AI assistant, or “copilot”, […]