China and Saudi Arabia Establish Trade Partnership Worth $1.3 Billion
China and Saudi Arabia have recently signed multiple cooperation agreements worth more than $1.33 billion during the Saudi-Chinese Business Forum in Beijing. These agreements focus on key sectors such as infrastructure, financing, and housing, reflecting the deepening ties between the two countries. Saudi Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, Majid Al-Hogail, emphasized that these partnerships signify enhanced growth and shared progress for both nations.
The Saudi Press Agency reported that these collaborations will facilitate advancements in critical areas, with a particular emphasis on real estate development. This trajectory is promising for the mutual growth of both China and the Kingdom. During the forum, Al-Hogail reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to enhancing its partnership with China, highlighting the three summits held during the Chinese President’s visit to Saudi Arabia in December.
Furthermore, there are 35 investment agreements worth approximately $30 billion that were sealed between Saudi Arabia and China in December during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Kingdom. Al-Hogail also highlighted the comprehensive strategic partnership agreement between the two countries, which includes an action plan for cooperation in the housing sector.
Al-Hogail emphasized the vast investment opportunities within Saudi Arabia, particularly in the construction of over 300,000 housing units across 17 cities, covering an area of more than 150 million square meters and valued at over SR100 billion ($26.66 billion). Additionally, the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs, and Housing is collaborating with several Chinese companies on housing projects worth an accumulated SR3 billion.
The forum aimed to explore investment opportunities and strengthen collaborations in urban infrastructure, housing, real estate development, and financing between Saudi Arabia and China. According to a Belt and Road Initiative report, Saudi Arabia is one of China’s crucial global trade partners, with significant Chinese engagement in the construction sector during the first half of 2023.
China is Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching $87.3 billion in 2021. Chinese exports to the Kingdom amounted to $30.3 billion, while China’s imports from Saudi Arabia totaled $57 billion, according to Reuters. China mainly exports textiles, electronics, and machinery to Saudi Arabia, while it primarily imports crude oil and primary plastics from the Kingdom. Chinese customs data shows that in the first 10 months of 2022, China’s Saudi oil imports reached 1.77 million barrels per day, valued at $55.5 billion.
Notably, Saudi Arabia represents a quarter of the $432 billion trade between China and Arab countries in 2022.