China eyes closer economic links with GCC

2024-05-01 13:22:11China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Amid shifting global dynamics, China and the Gulf states are forging deeper economic connections, particularly in renewable energy, financial markets, and electric vehicles, experts have said.

The collaboration, which is rooted in their significant contributions to global GDP and mutual commitment to sustainable development, was reflected at the World Economic Forum Special Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The meeting ended on Monday.

Gao Jifan, chairman and CEO of Trina Solar, a leading Chinese solar energy company, said: "Gulf countries are actively engaging in the fight against climate change and demonstrate vast potential in the renewable energy sector."

Lina Noureddin, managing director and CEO of Lamar Holding, which operates within Saudi Arabia's energy sector, emphasized the critical role of Chinese enterprises in the kingdom's Vision 2030 initiatives.

"The shift in Saudi Arabia from traditional government-led projects to more collaborative public-private partnerships has attracted Chinese companies," Noureddin said.

Ben Simpfendorfer, a partner at the Hong Kong office of the international consulting company Oliver Wyman, said: "The GCC's (Gulf Cooperation Council) ambitions to develop clean energy opportunities will only bind the region tighter to China."

According to UN Comtrade data, China's lithium battery exports to GCC countries surged by 26 percent from 2021 to 2022, with a 99 percent increase in the first three quarters of 2023.

Financial integration is another promising area for China-GCC collaboration, with reforms on both sides paving the way for increased financial flow and investment opportunities.

Wilfred Yiu, deputy chief executive officer of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, emphasized the strategic significance, saying: "As global economic growth shifts east, the importance of China and the Gulf region as growth engines is increasingly recognized."

Omar Al Futtaim, chief executive officer of the Al-Futtaim Group, said: "The diverse partnerships between countries in the Middle East and China clearly demonstrate a commitment to collective growth, progress and development."


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