China and Saudi Arabia on Thursday agreed to further boost financial cooperation, media reported, even as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began a two-day trip to Beijing. The Chinese top diplomat pitched for high-tech cooperation with Saudi Arabia, citing "enormous potential" in the Islamic kingdom's economy.
The two countries will enhance communication and coordination of macro policies, develop the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan through the financial sector and promote inclusive growth and sustainable development of both countries, according to the meeting of a financial sub-committee under a high-level committee to coordinate bilateral cooperation.
The Saudi delegation, including top executives from Aramco, arrived on Thursday (Feb 21), after a brief visit india. The crown prince will also meet President Xi Jinping. China supports Saudi's efforts to diversify its economy and is willing to strengthen high-tech cooperation, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said.
Likely to sign major deals
The two countries are likely to sign major deals during the Saudi heir apparent's visit. Saudi Aramco, the world's top oil exporter, could sign a pact to build a refinery and petrochemical project in Liaoning province, Channel News Asia reported. This will be a joint venture with China's defence conglomerate Norinco, the report said, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.
At Thursday's meeting, jointly chaired by Chinese vice finance minister Zou Jiayi and her Saudi Arabian counterpart Harmad Al-Bazai, the two sides agreed to support multilateralism, step up policy communication and support under multilateral mechanisms and cooperate to enhance the effectiveness of multilateral mechanisms, reports Xinhua.
The two countries will support reform of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and support new multilateral development institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to play more active roles.
They will also boost settlement in local currencies and cross-border bond issuance as well as encourage their financial institutions to expand businesses in each other's market.
During Prince Mohammad's India visit, it was reported that Saudi Arabia's petrochemical giant Aramco, the world's largest oil exporter, was in talks with several companies including Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to invest in India's petrochemical sector.
(With IANS inputs)