DOHA — Saudi Arabia is obviously considered as the political capital of the Middle East, Minister of Investment Eng. Khalid Al-Falih said on Tuesday while participating in the Qatar Economic Forum.
He noted that the Kingdom has been the convener of leaders from the regions and abroad, which have been seen and witnessed during the visits of world leaders, such as the recent one of the most successful Arab Summits in history, as well as resolving many issues within the Arab world including a ceasefire in Sudan.
“All of this is good for the entire Arab region as a whole, but specifically it will be very beneficial for the integrated GCC economies,” Eng. Al-Falih said.
Regarding the GCC countries, he said that they see themselves as a common market, and if there were competition between certain capitals within the GCC, then it will be good for all of them, as this will contribute to the good of the world.
The combination of size, vision and quality does matter, and Riyadh has all of the above plus a lot more, he pointed out, while noting that 50% of Saudi GDP alone is about 50% of the GCC economy.
He said that Saudi Arabia has witnessed growth during the previous year registering 31% growth in capital formation, as well as the GDP growth have been significantly higher than the average G20 and the fastest growing also among them.
The non-oil economy has also witnessed a great growth of 5.5%. Despite the declining oil prices and declining production, Saudi Arabia's non-oil GDP has grown this year at the same pace, therefore the decoupling is being noticed in the country between the oil economy and the non-oil economy, he said.
As for the relationship with China, Eng. Al-Falih said that Saudi Arabia's relationship with it is not different from the relationship with Japan, Korea or the rest of the developing Asian countries.
“We are tied with China in many ways, and we are big investors there,” Eng. Al-Falih said, adding, “China is increasingly looking at Saudi Arabia as an investment platform”.
He also said that Saudi Arabia is committed to its relationship with the Western countries, and the US remains to be the Kingdom's biggest partner in terms of capital flows.
In turn, Saudi Arabia is also a big investor in the US, which we will continue to do so.
“There is no decoupling in any sense between Saudi Arabia and US, but we play where our interests are without in any way compromising on our principles and values,” Eng Al-Falih noted.
He also highlighted at the Qatar Economic Forum, which is powered by Bloomberg, the importance of diversification globally, and coupling it with net-zero commitments that were also declared by each country.
“We need to lighten the carbon and the greenhouse emission of global supply chain and global manufacturing, and to introduce cleaner and greener fuels over the next two or three decades,” he added.
Saudi Arabia will join the ventures and work alongside with international investors, and will bring international capital.
He said that the Kingdom announced multiple special economic zones that will give all the regulatory needs for multi international companies to choose Saudi Arabia as a platform.
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