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Interview: Saudi Arabia's fast-growing non-oil sector welcomes Chinese investment, says finance minister

Updated: November 3, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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RIYADH, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said the Kingdom welcomes China's investment in its fast-growing non-oil sector.

Saudi Arabia's non-oil economy achieved 6.1 percent growth in Q2 as the country steadily reduces its dependence on oil, Al-Jadaan told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Al-Jadaan said banking, digitalization and technology, as well as manufacturing and mining, are the sectors the Kingdom is focusing on to diversify its economy, adding that opportunities in these areas are "huge."

"China is our largest trading partner. We had at least four ministers visiting China this year to talk to Chinese businesses, covering the areas of infrastructure, technology and petrochemicals," he said.

The minister added that Saudi Arabia also seeks new investment opportunities in China.

"We are investing in petrochemicals, digital and technological companies, and we are trying to find ways to invest in new sectors, including electric vehicles and renewable energy," said the minister.

"I trust significantly how the Chinese economy has been managed," he said, citing China's growth performance in the past decades and its large and robust economy.

He said that China has more growth potential in technology and digitalization.

"I think the best way is to work together and help the world economy grow," the minister said, calling on countries to avoid fragmentation and trade restrictions.

The minister also defended China regarding the so-called "debt trap" theory. "China went to Africa and Asia when they needed help ... So for us to come and criticize China, that's not fair."

Al-Jadaan said countries need to work with instead of antagonizing China. "We need to work with China to help low-income countries restructure their debts," Al-Jadaan said.

Editor: Yang Linlin