Saudi Arabia to enhance economic ties with China

The ongoing visit of a Saudi Arabian delegation to Chinese cities is enhancing official and business collaboration in technology and industries, with agreements and exchanges being made.

Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha is leading the delegation on the first official tour of senior government officials since the China-Saudi Arabia summit last December. They visited Hong Kong on Sunday before coming to the Chinese mainland.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Sunday that he has felt “a deep sense of warmth and friendship” in the exchanges since his visit to Saudi Arabia in February.

Lee said Hong Kong’s annual Belt and Road Summit will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative in September and will feature a dedicated Middle East forum for the first time.

He also said his government has prioritized revitalizing its relations with the Middle East in general and Saudi Arabia in particular, and invited the Saudi delegation to explore opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The Saudi delegation had a tour of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks, or HKSTP. Alswaha said it is an opportunity for Saudi Arabia to diversify to a factor-based economy, join hands with Hong Kong and build an innovation bridge and a gateway for humanity.

“If there’s a gateway for humanity and a partnership for life to join hands and how we can continue to empower people, and safeguard the planet, it is definitely this partnership between the kingdom and Hong Kong,” Alswaha said.

HKSTP Chairman Sunny Chai Ngai-chiu said Hong Kong and Saudi markets offer complementary values. “I’m proud to see our park companies grow in our city and scale into Saudi Arabia, as well as the new paths being paved for Saudi companies to come to Hong Kong,” he said.

Jerry Li, managing and founding partner of eWTP Arabia Capital and director-general of the Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association, said Hong Kong has the potential to play a role in technological advancements between the whole of China and Saudi Arabia.

Nicolas Aguzin, CEO of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, said investors around the world are aware of the economic importance of Asia. He said that as Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy and moving from energy toward technology, Hong Kong is in a unique position to help with this as it is “the most international city of China”.

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