Concerning King Salman’s Asian tour, Mohammed al-Khunaizi a senior member of the Shoura Council told Arab News that the aim of the visit to the Southeast Asian countries is to sustain good relations with them and for the benefit of the Saudi economy that will reach Saudi Vision 2030 goals. The tour will also bring benefits to the Gulf states and the wider Islamic world and also the economy of the Kingdom, which will grow faster as a consequence of the signing of agreements worth billions of dollars. Moreover Dr. Majed Abdullah Al-Hedayan, a legal consultant and investment expert in Riyadh, said the tour comes at a time when the Kingdom is trying to diversify its economy and consolidate its relations with the Muslim world around Asia and the tour principal aim is to deepen relations between Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Asian countries in terms of economy but also security and stability.
Energy and trade will for sure occupy an important role in the meeting between Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Chinese President Xi Jinping, but various other fields will be key in their talks, such as defense and security. Certainly energy cooperation is the foundation of relations between the two countries, Saudi Arabia is the world’s top exporter of crude oil and China is the world’s biggest importer, but China also offers important economic advantages to Saudi Arabia’s downstream and petrochemicals sectors, as the Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (BASIC) already holds a stake in a polycarbonate complex in Tianjin with China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation and Saudi Aramco holds a stake in the Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Company. Concerning the trade the visit was important to attract more Chinese investment to the Kingdom and the use of Chinese expertise to contribute to the diversification of the Saudi economy away from oil, due to China’s rapid economic development over the past three decades. Moreover also in the field of strategic relations, China is a key country and is a source of political support in the path of saudi selective economic reforms. Also counterterrorism is an emerging area of cooperation between the two countries, that includes a five-year plan for security cooperation including counterterrorism cooperation and joint military drills, and there is also a potential for chinese companies to win more Saudi defense procurement over the next decade and receive technology transfer.
After the meeting with US President Donald Trump, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince bin Salman hailed US President as a “true friends of Muslims” and affirmed he does not believe that Trump’s ban targets Islam specifically also because as senior adviser to Prince Mohammed said “Trump has an unprecedent and serious intention to work with the Muslim world”. Moreover this meeting marked a difference from Riyadh’s relationship with the Obama administration. In fine the White House has announced that the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and President Trump have discussed potential economic projects worth $200 billion.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Monday signed a document regarding cooperation to help end the Saudi Arabian economy’s dependence on oil. The two leaders also agreed to cooperate for the stability of the Middle East, calling each other “strategic partners” during a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office. The document for cooperation lists nine priority areas for diversifying the Saudi Arabian economy, such as the entertainment and media industries, and infrastructure.
Today King Salman arrived in Japan, the fourth country of his tour in Asia which started on February 26, and he was received at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo by Crown Prince Nahurito of Japan, Saudi Ambassador to Japan Al-Barrak and officials of the saudi embassy. His tour is the first by a Saudi king since 1971 when King Faisal visited Japan. During the visit Japan aims to strengthen relations with the Kingdom, which is Japan’s largest provider of oil exports, and to try to diversify its economy, including ways to increase japanese investments in non-energy sectors. Moreover the discussion will also focus on bilateral and regional issues, conflicts in the Middle East, Saudi.Japanese cooperation and commercial partnership, with a special reference to Saudi Aramco IPO.
Many experts expressed their opinion about King Salman’s visit to asian countries saying that it will carry investments useful to achieve Saudi Vision 2030 and will strengthen relations with the East Asian countries, which will let the Kingdom benefits of trade locations. For the board chairman of the Eastern Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry Al-Otaishan the visit and the openness to these countries will permit the Kingdom to diversify income sources and attract new expertise. The view of the businessmen is that the openness is the feature of the modern era and is key to gain new additions from countries like these which have accomplished a lot in terms of economic growth. Moreover Abdulbari Al-Nuwaihi, professor of economics at Prince Sultan Management College at Al-Faisal University in Jeddah, affrimed that the visit will increase political, milotary and economic cooperation between the Kingdom and these countries beside allow openness to new markets.
In anticipation to King Salman’s visit to Japan on March 12 as part of his Asian tour, the Japanese ambassador to Saudi Arabia Norihiro Okuda said the visit main intent is to strengthen ties in different fields and for this reason the King will hold talks with top Japanese officials covering bilateral,regional (East Asia) and international issues, such as Middle East issues like Yemen and Syria. During the visit Japan will discuss with King Salman not only on economic issues but also culture and entertainment to achieve the goals set in the Saudi Vision 2030 besides security cooperation. For that reason both countries established the Joint Group for Saudi-Japn Vision 2030.
The presence of the King Salman has attracted the attention of many parties. It can be liberated by the role of Saudi in the Indonesia society in education, economic, and culture. Indonesia–Saudi Arabia relations are particularly notable because Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, and Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population. However there is one thing missing from the media about the arrival of King Salman, namely the role of humanitarian diplomacy Arabia.
During the talks in Kuala Lumpur King Salman and Malaysian Prime Minister Razak announced the establishment of an international center for peace and harmony that will be named ‘King Salman Center for Global Peace’. Moreover in a joint statement the two countries stressed the need to find solutions to the conflicts in the Middle East such as in Syria and Yemen and to stop the Iranian interference in the internal affairs in the Arab countries. Concerning the project of the Center for Global Peace, the Saudi Ministry of Defense,the Center for Security and Defense at the Malaysian Ministry of Defense, the Malaysian University of Islamic Sciences and the Makkah-based Muslim World League will coordinate to complete the arrangements to implement the launch of the center in 90 days from the date of its announcement.
King Salman visited Malaysia today during his tour to Asia, that includes Indonesia, Japan, China, Brunei, Jordan and Maldives. Malaysian Prime Minister affirmed that relations between the two countries are built on mutual trust and respect through the years. The Minister also said both countries believe in the tolerant,moderate and peaceful nature of Islam and will sign a number of new agreements. The visit will focus on stregthen bilateral relations at all levels for the benefit of the two countries but also for the unity of the Muslim world as a whole. Also on the commercial front the two countries has improved significantly and the visit will open several channels of cooperation.