Hong Kong – Saudi Arabia Forge Unprecedented Ties, To Hold Special Middle East Forum in September Summit
After a successful Arab – China Business Conference last month, Hong Kong wants to boost ties with Saudi Arabia through trade, economy and investment. Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said Hong Kong shares Saudi Arabia’s vision.
At an event marking the launch of the Hong Kong chapter of the Saudi Arabia – China Entrepreneurs Association (SCEA), wherein 11 hi-tech Chinese companies signed deals with eWTP Arabia Capital, Lee said the government has prioritized revitalizing relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East.
He believes it’s an opportune time for the two states to work together on furthering and strengthening cooperation. Lee said Hong Kong has unparalleled advantage of having the strong support of national strategies, and simultaneously maintaining seamless connections with the world. As such, the city continues to be one of the world’s freest economies with a free flow of information and capital. Hong Kong strives for free trade, collaboration and is committed to high-quality development.
Lee described Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 as a dynamic blueprint for the future. He said it is designed to transform the Kingdom into a global economic powerhouse, built on diversity, innovation, sustainability, and technology. The chief executive highlighted his February visit to Saudi Arabia, wherein six bilateral deals was sealed between the two states, including a MoU between the Saudi Tadawul Group, the country’s stock exchange operator, and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX).
Hong Kong will hold a special Middle East forum for the first time in September during its annual Belt and Road Summit. This will be in line with Saudi Arabia’s goal to diversify its economy and Hong Kong’s commitment to new industrialization.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia wants to use Hong Kong as the bridge to mainland China for its Vision 2030 economic plan. Abdullah Al-Swaha, Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said key collaborations between the two countries include strategies to attract the funding of venture capitalists and fintech, as well as technological entrepreneurship. It also includes cloud computing, health sciences and biotechnology, and artificial intelligence.
Al-Swaha said Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia are seeing promising transformations, with both economies being financial hubs in their respective regions. He believes both states have an opportunity to build an innovation bridge, to leapfrog into the future with an innovation-based economy. The minister added that being pro-partnership and pro-openness, Saudi Arabia wants to do business with any partner that can comply with the country’s security and regulatory requirements.