Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources at ‘One Belt, One Road’ Forum in China: Saudi Arabia assumes strategic projects to enhance integration with regional and global economies

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Beijing, Sha’ban 19, 1438, May 15, 2017, SPA — The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia participated in the Silk Road Summit for International Cooperation being held in Beijing from 14 to15 May, represented by Minister of Energy, Industry, and Natural Resources Eng. Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Finance Mohammad Al-Jadaan, Minister of Telecomunications and Information Technolgy Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha, Cabinet Minister and Public Investment Fund Chief Executive Mr. Yaser Al Rummayan.
Minister Al-Falih delivered a speech entitled "Integration between basic infrastructure" and said, “It is a great honor to me to represent Saudi Arabia on behlaf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at this Forum."
Al Falih said, “the strategic projects assumed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to development railway, airports, harbors and power interconnection all represent high-level commitment towards integration and interconnection among continental basis infrastructure that fall within the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 which will support the wider integration of Saudi Arabia with regional and international economies.”
"We, in Saudi Arabia look proudly to the assiduous effort exerted by President Xi Jin Bing intended to fulfill the theme of ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative. Such efforts align with the resolve and determination shown by King Salman that drive Saudi Arabia towards the actualization of Vision 2030 as they both share several common features and notions", Al-Falih said.
The Minister further said, "the potential offered by this unique initiative is immense and promising as the Kingdom is eager to take part in this historical initiative. Vision 2030 and this initiative are top priorities when speaking about economic integration as this would enable us to utilize the Kingdom’s unique location at the nexus of three continents, Asia, Africa and Europe. The Kingdom’s great and scalable infrastructure is another asset that would ease the flow of goods and commodities very efficiently among the three continents, he added.
“The Kingdom’s own Vision 2030 also prioritizes connectivity and economic integration, which is at the heart of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ Forum. The development of transportation networks is vital for the development of any nation, and Saudi Arabia’s transportation infrastructure supports sectors like petroleum, petrochemicals, mining, industry and commerce. To benefit our infrastructure, the Kingdom is now arming itself with a number of performance enhancing systems like electronic systems, active customs procedures and advanced information systems.”
The Minister went on to say that “the Saudi railway system is one of the world’s biggest infrastructure projects as it comprises railways extending to longer than 15,000 km nationwide. The Saudi investment in metro, railroads, and other support services aggregates to some $106 billion. Such investments are coupled with the expansion of airports and seaports to upgrade capacity for both passengers and commodities in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Madinah.”
Further to the above, Al-Faleh highlighted that, “in a bid to enhance the integration of the country’s various regions and increase linkages with neighboring economies, the government has created special economic zones to leverage the competitive edge of Saudi Arabia’s different regions across a range of economic sectors, like the financial, logistical, services, tourism and industry. Such zones shall be governed by investment sustaining regulations. “
The Minister touched on the matter of integration in the power sector, and said, “Since 2011, there has been power interconnection between the GCC countries as this interconnection has become ready for further interconnection with countries in Asia, Europe and Africa”.
Al-Falih was keen to point out that, “before the advent of 2020, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be interconnected to and trading electricity with Africa via Egypt, and has tentatively agreed with Turkey to conduct a detailed feasibility study of a project to link the two electrical networks, from which the Kingdom can supply European markets. Such power connectivity with other regions will leverage not only Saudi Arabia’s prominent position in electricity generation, but also the growing efficiency of the Kingdom’s power generation fleet, which will be expanded with the introduction of renewables that could rise to some 9.5 GW by 2023. Given that assumptioin, renewables will account for 10% of Saudi Arabia’s total energy mix. The Kingdom is now working on the privatization of power generation facilities, which falls in line with its commitment to have a closer partnership with the private sectors in order to realize a sustain economic growth in future.
“It is beyond doubt that modern infrastructure, unique geographic location, regulations, customs, digitization can render the Kingdom an ideal place for logistical, commercial, industrial activities as they sustain the Kingdom’s position as a reliable and model partner for the actualization of ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative, the Minister stated. Now, we extend a hand of cooperation to all those interested in realizing this great vision that would afford more prosperity, growth and sustainability to the international community, he added.
The Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammad Al-Jadaan took part at the Workshop Session held after the Opening and General Sessions, in which the financial integration of the initiative was discussed as well as the role expected by international and regional investment organizations in support of the initiative financially.
The Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology signed a MoU with the Chinese party represented by its Reform and Development Committee. Further, an Executive Program was signed in Beijing to implement the former MoU in order to sustain mutual ties and exchange expertise in Telecommunications and IT so as to carry out the Silk Road Business online and choose three cities from Saudi Arabia and China, building technical portals, HR training, IT business, broadband internet network, satellite services, cyber security, digital content, academia, exchanges of expertise, and support institutions on both sides such as universities, corporations and the International Telecommunication Union.
–SPA
20:06 LOCAL TIME 17:06 GMT

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