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BRI, Sino-Saudi business ties attract Chinese companies

By Zhong Nan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-07-10 14:43

A simulated graph of a part of New Murabba Development project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The tangible growth of the Belt and Road Initiative and enhanced Sino-Saudi business ties will attract more Chinese companies to expand their market presence in Saudi Arabia, further transforming the country's economic development pattern, said a senior business executive.

This optimistic outlook is underpinned by the shared economic interests of China and Saudi Arabia and their efforts to create synergy between the BRI and Saudi Vision 2030, said Michael Dyke, CEO of the Riyadh-based New Murabba Development Co, a business unit of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

Saudi Vision 2030 is a transformative economic and social reform blueprint that is opening Saudi Arabia up to the world, and boosts the countries' communication and coordination on regional and international affairs.

New Murabba Development is responsible for building a modern downtown in Riyadh. Its development spans 19 square kilometers, features the Mukaab tower at its center. The project will include 2 million square meters of floor space featuring retail areas, tourist attractions, 104,000 residential units, 9,000 hotel accommodations and 80 entertainment options. Its first phase is scheduled to be completed and operational in 2030.

China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd, a Beijing-headquartered subsidiary of State-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd, will build the first phase of excavation work. This phase includes the excavation and subsequent backfilling required for the construction of the basement structures of the Mukaab tower, a massive cube-shaped structure, and the surrounding podiums.

Dyke said that the potential for trade cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia is being continually unleashed, serving as a new engine propelling China's development of foreign trade and outbound direct investment, especially in areas such as digital technologies, smart city development and the production of electric vehicles.

New Murabba Development will release the smart city implementation study, which focuses on developing an innovative hub for seamless mobility by integrating autonomous vehicles, robotic parking and EV recharging.

"We believe that China holds significant potential for growth," said Dyke. "Our goal for this visit is to establish partnerships with Chinese companies in the construction sector to contribute to the development of our project in Riyadh."

"Additionally, we aim to attract investment and promote New Murabba as an ideal destination for both Chinese businesses and tourists," he added.

China's non-financial outbound direct investment came in at $60.2 billion in the first five months of the year, up 16.3 percent year-on-year, statistics from the Ministry of Commerce showed.

Cooperation with countries participating in the BRI continued to show growth momentum as ODI in these countries came in at $12.81 billion in the January-May period, rising 12.7 percent on a yearly basis.

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