Crown Prince’s 3-nation Asia visit takes ties to higher level


Saudi Gazette report

Jeddah —
Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, cemented the Kingdom’s ties with its Asian allies with historic visit to Pakistan, India and China.

The Crown Prince was accorded warm welcome in these countries befitting his international stature.

The visit to Pakistan led to the establishment of Joint Supreme Coordination Council to further strengthen bilateral relations in various fields and take them to a higher level.

President Arif Alvi conferred Pakistan’s highest civil award — Nishan-e-Pakistan — on the Crown Prince for his “outstanding support for reinvigorating Pak-Saudi bilateral relationship.”

In India, the visit cemented the existing ‘Strategic Partnership’ with ‘high level monitoring mechanism with the creation of Strategic Partnership Council.

In Beijing, President Xi Jinping said, “China is a good friend and partner to Saudi Arabia.”

The Crown Prince said Saudi Arabia has signed investment agreements worth $20 billion during his high-profile visit to Pakistan.

The Crown Prince and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan oversaw the signing of seven agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) in diverse fields, including energy, power, petrochemical, mineral resources and sports, aimed at further bolstering their bilateral cooperation.

Most of the agreements signed focused on energy projects, including a $10 billion refinery and petrochemicals complex in the coastal city of Gwadar.

Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman said he saw investment opportunities of more than $100 billion in India over the next two years as the two countries signed five agreements and MoUs on investment in infrastructure, housing sector and tourism.

The Crown Prince said his country had invested $44 billion since 2016 in India when PM Modi visited the Kingdom, and had benefitted from it.

In Beijing, the Crown Prince cemented a $10 billion deal for a refining and petrochemical complex, meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Saudi Arabia signed 35 economic cooperation agreements with China worth a total of $28 billion at a joint investment forum during the visit.

Aramco agreed to form a joint venture with Chinese defense conglomerate Norinco to develop a refining and petrochemical complex in the northeastern Chinese city of Panjin, saying the project was worth more than $10 billion.

The partners would form a company called Huajin Aramco Petrochemical Co as part of a project that would include a 300,000-barrels per day (bpd) refinery with a 1.5-million-metric tonnes per year ethylene cracker, Aramco said.