Belt, Road initiative will help Saudi Arabia realize 2030 vision, ambassador says

China's "One Belt and One Road" initiative is expected to make "creative" contributions to helping Saudi Arabia realize its "Saudi Vision 2030" plan, Saudi Ambassador to China Turki Bin Mohamed Al-Mady said during an interview with the Xinhua News Agency on 14 March.

Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to the initiative, Al-Mady said, noting that both countries have great potential, whether in infrastructure construction or financial innovation.

To diversify its heavily oil-dependent economy, Saudi Arabia announced a "Saudi Vision 2030" growth strategy in 2016, which includes privatizing some state-owned companies.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will pay a state visit to China from Wednesday to Saturday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a State visit to Saudi Arabia in January 2016, during which both nations agreed to lift relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

During the king's visit, the two sides will discuss enhancing cooperation in areas such as culture, economy, trade, technology, security and defense.

They are expected to sign several agreements and memoranda on education, investment, transfer of technology, industry and trade.

"The king's visit shows that China and Saudi Arabia enjoy a close relationship and share broad common interests," the ambassador said.

"Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries to respond positively to the [Belt and Road] initiative," he said. "In terms of strategic location, Saudi Arabia serves as the central hub connecting three continents - Asia, Africa and Europe, and has been an important part of the initiative."

Al-Mady said that he hopes Saudi Arabia can play a more central and positive role in promoting the initiative to strengthen the in-depth integration of the initiative and the "Saudi Vision 2030."

In 2015, China became Saudi Arabia's largest trade partner. Saudi Arabia has been China's biggest crude oil supplier and largest trade partner in West Asia and Africa for years.

Source: Xinhua

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