On the first day of the China-Arab business summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia unveiled billions of dollars worth of investment partnerships between China and the Arab world.
The meeting occurred amid expanding diplomatic and business connections between Beijing and Middle Eastern nations, including a recent historic reconciliation between regional powerhouses Iran and Saudi Arabia facilitated by China that has changed regional relations.
The conference, currently in its 10th edition, is being held for the first time in the oil-rich country. More than 3,500 business and government representatives from China and the Arab world will attend over two days, according to a statement from the Saudi Investment Ministry.
According to the announcement, the event “marked its first day with the signing of $10 billion in investment agreements,” most of which are for projects in Saudi Arabia or by Saudi businesses and government bodies.
The Saudi Investment Ministry and Human Horizons, a Chinese manufacturer of electric and self-driving automobiles, have a $5.6 billion memorandum of understanding, which is included in this sum.
In addition to a separate “cooperation agreement” and a “framework agreement” involving other businesses, the memorandum of understanding contains more than half of the entire amount, according to the statement.
It included agreements for various industries, including technology, agriculture, renewable energy, real estate, the environment, and tourism.
“A new, prosperous era for our peoples”
The potential for boosted commercial and economic connections between China and Arab nations was highlighted at the conference’s opening by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan. He stated, “(this) meeting is an opportunity… to create a shared future toward a new, fruitful era for our people.”
AMR ALuwlaa Company and Zhonghuan International Group (Hong Kong) reportedly reached an agreement worth $533 million to build an iron foundry in Saudi Arabia. According to the announcement, a $500 million collaboration agreement for copper mining in the kingdom was inked by the Saudi ASK Group and the China National Geological & Mining Corp.