Saudi Arabia wants collaboration not competition with China, says energy minister

Special Correspondent
Special Correspondent
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman

Affirming Saudi Arabia’s existing trade and economic relationship with China, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the Kingdom seeks collaboration with the world’s second-largest economy instead of competition.

Speaking at the 10th Arab-China Business Conference in Riyadh on Sunday, he said: “I would not be surprised if you will hear more announcements soon on Saudi-Chinese investment.”

Prince Abdulaziz said there are synergies between the two countries, as the Kingdom is progressing steadily with its Vision 2030 plan, while China is pursuing its Belt and Road Initiative.

“We do not have to be in a place where we set ourselves in competition with China. We have to set ourselves in a place where we collaborate with China. There are so many things that we want to do with them (China), but equally, they want to do with us. There is a great deal of synergies between the two countries,” the top minister said.

He categorically said: “I actually ignore” criticism regarding the growing ties between Saudi Arabia and China.

Prince Abdulaziz said that Saudi Arabia’s business environment is suitable for investors, as it is steadily diversifying its economy.

“We believe that there are so many global opportunities, as Saudi Arabia is in a pivotal geographical position that could enable us to reach out to so many parties, be engaged, and be involved with everybody. Those who would like to invest with them, we are here. Those who would like to invest with us here, we are also here,” he added.

During a panel discussion at the two-day event, the energy minister said that the latest agreement of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and its allies, known as OPEC+, included comprehensive reforms.

He added that the alliance is also working against uncertainties within the market.

“We are working against something called uncertainties and sentiments. And I believe, it is a matter of being in a state of readiness. And that is why we are taking these precautionary measures. It is part of what we call proactive and precautionary (measures),” he said.

The Saudi minister said: “We and OPEC+ are more interested in doing a regulator’s job.”

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia pledged to make a deep cut to its output in July on top of a broader OPEC+ deal to limit supply into 2024 as the group eyes to boost flagging oil prices.

Saudi Energy Ministry said that the Kingdom’s output would drop to 9 million barrels per day in July from around 10 million bpd in May.

The minister said the new OPEC+ deal would be rewarding for those who were investing to grow their production capacity.

“In the final analysis what this agreement will achieve for all of us is that those who invest, not this year, but in the years to come, 2024 and 2025 and moving forward, there will be a recognition for their investment because they will be given higher production allocations.”

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