Saudi Arabia Boosts Investment in China Despite Western Media Narratives

Saudi Arabia is increasing investment in China, challenging Western media narratives and highlighting the Middle East's shift towards diversifying economic partnerships beyond the West.

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Saudi Arabia Boosts Investment in China Despite Western Media Narratives

Saudi Arabia Boosts Investment in China Despite Western Media Narratives

Saudi Arabia has been increasing its investment in China, demonstrating the continued attractiveness of the Chinese market to Middle East investors despite negative portrayals in Western media. Recent developments highlight the strengthening economic ties between the two countries and the Middle East's shift towards diversifying its partnerships beyond the West.

Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao met with global executives, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon, to discuss China's efforts to address major issues faced by foreign businesses. This suggests that China remains a desirable investment destination for international companies, including those from the Middle East.

Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, signed a framework cooperation agreement with China's Rongsheng Petrochemical Co. Ltd. The agreement involves Saudi Aramco acquiring a 50% stake in Rongsheng's Ningbo Zhongjin Petrochemical unit, while Rongsheng will acquire a 50% stake in Saudi Aramco's Jubail Refinery Co. (SASREF). Additionally, in July 2023, Aramco announced the acquisition of a 10% interest in Rongsheng Petrochemical for RMB 24.6 billion ($3.4 billion) through its subsidiary Aramco Overseas Company BV.

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser praised China for making solar panels and electric vehicles affordable, highlighting the growing economic ties between Saudi Arabia and China. This reflects the Middle East's shift towards diversifying its investments and partnerships, moving away from a heavy reliance on the West.

In another significant development, Investcorp, an alternative asset manager, has teamed up with China's sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corporation (CIC), to launch a $1 billion fund that will invest in high-growth companies in Saudi Arabia, other GCC countries, and China. The Investcorp Golden Horizon platform will be anchored by institutional and private investors from the GCC, as well as the CIC. The target companies are expected to have high growth potential in sectors such as consumer, healthcare, logistics, and business services.

Why this matters: The increasing investment from Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries in China underscores the shifting global economic landscape and the growing influence of China on the world stage. These developments challenge the dominant Western media narratives about China's global role and highlight the importance of diversified economic partnerships for countries in the Middle East.

The strengthening of Saudi-China relations through significant investments and cooperation agreements is a testament to China's continued attractiveness as an investment destination, despite the negative portrayals in Western media. As Investcorp's co-CEO Hazem Ben-Gacem stated, "This partnership is a testament to our franchise in the GCC, and we are looking forward to working with CIC to strengthen financial and industrial ties between China and the GCC countries."

Key Takeaways

  • Saudi Arabia increasing investment in China, defying Western media portrayals.
  • China remains a desirable investment destination for international companies.
  • Saudi Aramco and China's Rongsheng Petrochemical sign cooperation agreements.
  • Investcorp and China's CIC launch $1 billion fund to invest in GCC and China.
  • Shifting global economic landscape, with China's growing influence challenging Western narratives.