China-Saudi Arabia economic and trade ties are expected to experience high-speed growth in the years ahead, market watchers and business leaders said.
Both countries will further strengthen the synergy of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Saudi Vision 2030, as well as reinforce pragmatic cooperation on energy, infrastructure and green and hightech development, they said.
Launched by the Saudi government in 2016, Saudi Vision 2030 is an economic and social reform blueprint designed to open the kingdom up to the world, and boost communication and coordination on regional and international affairs.
Given the opportunities provided by the BRI and Saudi Vision 2030, the potential for business cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia will be unleashed in areas such as 5G, trade in services, production of new energy vehicles and smart-city development, said Sun Fuquan, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.
These technologies are developing quickly and are reaching maturity in China, he said, adding that China's technology solutions and related service projects will help contribute to Saudi Arabia's supply chain development and aid its ambition of becoming an industrial powerhouse.
While oil is at the heart of trade between China and Saudi Arabia, the total value of bilateral trade soared 37.4 percent year-on-year to $97.26 billion in the first 10 months of the year, data from China's General Administration of Customs shows.
In addition to crude oil, petrochemicals, fertilizer and other products, Saudi Arabia exports to China a variety of goods such as metallic ore, aquatic products, marble, olive oil, and sesame and dairy products.
China mainly ships construction machinery, vessels, manufacturing equipment, steel, textiles, furniture, computers, smartphones, garments and household appliances to Saudi Arabia. Chinese-made electric passenger vehicles have also become popular in the Middle Eastern country.
Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030, the country's economy has significantly diversified, with manufacturing, tourism, finance, mining, education, healthcare and other sectors embracing new growth opportunities, said Mohammed Alajlan, chairman of the Saudi Chinese Business Council.
"China has advanced technologies, services and products in emerging fields such as AI, big data, biotech, fintech and automation," he said. "Chinese companies have brought practical technology solutions to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East region. There are already numerous win-win results in various sectors between China and Saudi Arabia, and there will be more in the future."