A two-day trade and investment conference has been held in Riyadh to boost business between Saudi Arabia and China. As news site Zawya reports, this has led to more than 30 deals agreed across multiple sectors, including technology, renewables, agriculture, real estate, minerals, tourism and healthcare.
The largest deal was a $5.6bn memorandum of understanding signed by the Saudi Ministry of Investment and Chinese electric car maker Human Horizons to establish a joint venture to handle all aspects of EV production, from research to production and marketing.
Other deals with relevance to the construction sector included one signed by China State Construction Engineering Corporation for the construction of a factory to make elements for large steel structures. This plan, to be funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, will be built in the Saudi capital and is expected to have a capacity of 800,000 tonnes a year.
No price was given for that scheme, but another factory to produce iron ore pellets is expected to cost $533m. This is being discussed by Hong Kong-based contractor Zhonghuan International Group and the AMR ALuwlaa Company .
There was also a $266m framework agreement to carry out advanced building construction. This was agreed between Saudi construction group Mabani Al-Safwah and two Chinese contractors, China Gezhouba Group and Shaanxi-based Top International Engineering.
A $250m deal was signed between Saudi railway company Sabatco and Chinese rolling stock giant CRRC to set up production facilities in Saudi Arabia.
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology signed a memorandum of understanding with China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company and Beijing GL-Microelectronics Technology to establish a centre for designing and manufacturing microchips.
Other deals covered mining, pharmaceuticals, and software development.
Trade between the Arab world and China grew 30% in 2022 to $430bn. Almost a quarter of which was with Saudi Arabia.