Riyadh, August 26: Saudi Arabia and China have agreed to co-operate on nuclear energy projects following discussions between the two countries this week on ways to support the kingdom’s nuclear energy programme. Notably, both the countries have signed agreements on nuclear energy projects are worth more than $60 billion.
The Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih declared the establishment of a joint company between the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, Saudi Aramco and a Chinese company in Jizan region. It will be the biggest developed platform between the two countries, with the aim of attracting Chinese investments in various industrial sectors in Jizan.
Minister Al-Falih said, “Saudi Arabia aspires to be the biggest investor in the sector of refining petrochemicals in the Chinese market, and there will be a big development in this field.” “There is a strategic partnership between the two countries that was launched since the visit of the Chinese president to Saudi Arabia, followed by the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” he added.
However, the agreement was signed after a deep talk between the representatives of both the countries. The forum discussed ways to promote commercial exchanges, and inviting the business sector to benefit from investment opportunities in both countries. Bilateral commercial trade has already reached $49 billion in 2015.
Interestingly, Nuclear energy will help Saudi Arabia to develop water desalination plants, of which it is a leading producer. Saudi Arabia and China also signed a memorandum of understanding in 2012 to cooperate on the civilian use of nuclear energy. Similar deals had already been signed with other countries including France, Argentina, Russia, United States among others.
Importantly, Saudi Arabia has also set up a joint investment fund with China and on Thursday signed 11 deals worth $20 billion with China as part of an official visit of Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli to Saudi Arabia.