Ajlan & Bros Holding Group, a private conglomerate from Saudi Arabia, will further expand its investments in China, especially in fields like renewable energy, financial services and the garment industry, a top company official said.

China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) offers huge opportunities and the Saudi company has already seen strong growth due to the constantly evolving business environment, said Masroor Haq, CEO of Ajlan.

“The Saudi Vision 2030 is complementary to China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, and we remain focused on investing more in China, strengthening our presence in the textile sector while also exploring other opportunities like local partnerships. Our commitment to China will continue to reflect its significance as one of our most important growth markets. Every milestone created in China is inseparable from the government’s policy guidance and support, and we want to actively participate in and promote its development,” he said.

According to Haq, the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Saudi Vision 2030 will help the Saudi company to tap opportunities in sectors like financial services, consumer-oriented manufacturing, healthcare, education, gaming, metals and mining, hospitality and tourism as well as logistics.

The Saudi company inaugurated its first factory in China in Jiangsu province in 2002 and it encompasses a complete supply chain, ranging from production to packaging. It was followed by Shandong Lawrence Textile Co Ltd, a vertical integrated textile and apparel supply chain enterprise in Shandong province in 2003, which has since become a leading exporter in Zaozhuang, a city in Shandong, with clients from all over the world, including the United States and Europe.

Three investment offices with dedicated teams have also been set up in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen, to further promote cooperation with Chinese enterprises.

China stands ready to deepen the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, and make good use of the mechanism of the China-Saudi Arabia High-Level Joint Committee to promote cooperation in traditional areas such as trade, investment, and infrastructure, as well as in the emerging fields including artificial intelligence, 5G and big data, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a visit to Saudi Arabia in March.

As major changes are unfolding in the world and in the Middle East, the strategic importance of the China-Saudi Arabia relations has become more prominent, and the two sides need to conduct timely strategic communication, protect common interests, and contribute to global peace, stability and development, he said.

China’s performance during the global economic recession and COVID-19 pandemic has shown its resilience and many multinational corporations, as well as the financial institutes, have expressed strong interest in Chinese assets, said Zhang Jianping, director-general of the Beijing-based China Center for Regional Economic Cooperation.

As China is contributing 25 percent to 30 percent to global economic growth, Haq said the 14th Five-Year Plan supports not only the country’s development but also strategic cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative for companies like Ajlan.

The company is committed to building strong and long-term relationships with its Chinese counterparts, based on its existing cooperation with leading companies like Swiftpass and SF Express, he said.

The company’s Tiqmo joint venture in Saudi Arabia focuses on the fintech industry and is powered by Chinese technology giant Swiftpass, helping accelerate Saudi Arabia’s move toward a cashless economy, while the company has also collaborated with SF Express, China’s leading integrated express logistics service provider, to establish the AJ Express joint venture and bring the latest advancements in logistics to the kingdom, he said.

“We are also very keen on renewable energy, and with Chinese companies, we are already bidding for projects, not just in Saudi Arabia but beyond. This is prioritization play on the way.”

Author: Zheng Xin