Arab-China Business Conference: $10bn in deals made on day 1
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Arab-China Business Conference: Deals worth $10bn inked on opening day

Arab-China Business Conference: Deals worth $10bn inked on opening day

Trade between China and Saudi Arabia alone exceeded $106bn last year, representing a 30 per cent growth rate during 2021

Arab-China Business Conference image Saudi Ministry of Investment

The 10th Arab-China Business Conference, the largest edition to date and the first hosted by Saudi Arabia marked its first day with the signing of $10bn in investment agreements, spanning more than 30 deals across diverse sectors, including technology, renewables, agriculture, real estate, minerals, supply chains, tourism and healthcare.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia inaugurated the conference. During his speech, the minister said the conference’s theme, ‘Cooperation for Prosperity’, confirmed the importance, potential, and shared vision for the next frontiers of trade and investment relations shared between the Arab world and China.

The opening ceremony of the  Arab-China Business Conference also witnessed a welcoming speech by the Minister of Investment, Engineer Khalid Al-Falih. Stating that this cooperation would lead to further growth, expansion and investment, the minister forecasted the continued integration between the two region’s economies. He also emphasised the value of commercial exchange, citing that energy exports from the Arab world contributed to advancing the industrial development in China, and in return, the goods manufactured in China reached every home, office and factory across Arab countries.

The programme of plenaries, workshops, special meetings and side events dedicated to topics such as ESG and supply chain resilience has attracted more than 3,500 business leaders, innovators and policymakers from 26 countries.

Arab-China trade highlights

The trade and investment conference, organised by the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) in partnership with the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the Union of Arab Chambers, comes at a time of growing trade between the Arab world and China, which reached $430bn in 2022.

Trade between China and Saudi Arabia alone exceeded $106bn last year, representing a 30 per cent growth rate during 2021.

China’s foreign direct investment in the Arab world totaled $23bn in 2021 with $3.5bn invested in Saudi Arabia.

B2B deals signed on the sidelines of the event

  •  A $533m deal between the AMR ALuwlaa Company and Zhonghuan International Group (Hong Kong) to establish a factory to reduce iron ore and manufacture iron pellets for smelting plants in Saudi Arabia.
  • A $500m cooperation agreement between Saudi Arabia’s ASK Group and the China National Geological & Mining Corp for the development, financing, construction and operation of an Arabian Shield copper mining project.
  •  A $266m framework agreement between Mabani Al- Safwah, China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co and Top International Engineering Corporation Arabia for advanced building construction in the kingdom.

Government-to-business (G2B) agreements signed 

  • · A $5.6bn agreement between MISA and Human Horizons, a Chinese developer of autonomous driving technologies and manufacturer of electric cars under the HiPhi brand, to establish a joint venture for automotive research, development, manufacturing and sales.
  • · A $266m deal signed by MISA with Hong Kong-based Android developer Hibobi Technology to develop tourism and other apps.
  • · A $250m deal facilitated by MISA between Saudi railway company SABATCO and Chinese state-owned and publicly traded rolling stock manufacturer CRRC to manufacture rail wagons and wheels in Saudi Arabia.
  • · A $150m deal between MISA, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) and Chinese industrial manufacturer Sunda to manufacture caustic soda, chlorine and derivatives, chlorinated paraffin, calcium chloride, poly vinyl chloride (PVC), and related conversion products in the kingdom.

Day two’s agenda

The second day of the Arab-China Business Conference will include keynote speeches and private meetings with government leaders and important personalities, as well as specialised workshops that will examine in depth a number of key topics, including supply chains for the oil and gas sectors, innovation and research partnerships, challenges and solutions for global commercial supply chains, mining and food processing.

The second day of the Arab-China Business Conference will include a closing keynote from Dilma Rousseff, former president of Brazil and current president of New Development Bank, a multilateral development bank established by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging markets and developing economies.


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