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Saudi Arabia, China sign $1.33 billion in housing deals

The Saudi-China Business Forum represents the latest sign of increased Chinese interest in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Entities from Saudi Arabia and China signed several housing and infrastructure agreements at a forum on Wednesday, further demonstrating warm relations between the two countries.

Saudi Arabia's Minister for Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing Majid bin Abdullah Al-Hogail presided over the Saudi-China Business Forum in Beijing. The event focused on investment opportunities between the two countries related to urban infrastructure, housing, real estate development and financing, and Hogail invited Chinese firms to invest in the kingdom’s real estate sector. Unspecified Saudi and Chinese entities signed 12 agreements at the forum related to infrastructure development and financing. The agreements’ total investment value is more than $1.33 billion, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Though the report did not name the involved companies, the Saudi Ministry for Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing said that Hogail met with representatives of the Chinese state-owned investment conglomerate CITIC in Beijing. They specifically discussed construction in Saudi Arabia and “green housing technology,” according to a Tuesday press release.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia and China are growing closer in several ways. In March, China brokered the agreement that resumed diplomatic relations between the kingdom and Iran.

On the economic front, Saudi Arabia hosted the Arab-China Business Conference in June. The event yielded more than $10 billion in deals. Last month, Saudi Aramco acquired a $3.4 billion stake in the Chinese petrochemical firm Rongsheng Petrochemical Co. Ltd.

Saudi Arabia was also China’s top oil supplier in 2022.

Know more: China’s growing influence in the Gulf is a concern for the United States, though China is primarily focused on investment and oil as opposed to politics and security, Karen Young wrote in a memo for Al-Monitor PRO in May.

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