Remarks by Amin H. Nasser, President & CEO, Saudi Aramco, at the China Development Forum 2016
A partnership gaining momentum
Zao shang hao, ladies and gentlemen.
China’s new development model
For the past quarter-century, the world has watched China’s economic ascendance with admiration. Today, as China shifts to higher-quality growth, Saudi Arabia is taking a similar path.
Among other commonalities, both China and the Kingdom are traveling toward knowledge-based, innovation-driven economies. Our close alignment on new business models and prudent reforms makes us ideal partners on this journey.
In fact, three concurrent paths can speed us toward our destination.
Path #1: Belt & Road infrastructure, investment and trade
The first path transcribes China’s strategic Belt & Road initiative.
Saudi Arabia’s emerging and expanding economic cities offer prime opportunities and incentives to Chinese business.
In fact, the west coast city of Jazan, where Saudi Aramco is building a world-class infrastructure with a refining, fuels and feedstocks hub at its heart, is ideal for manufacturers from China expanding to Africa and Europe. We are working with Ningxia and Guangdong provinces to help facilitate investments.
At Saudi Aramco, we believe the Belt and Road holds great potential to bridge east and west Asia. Accordingly, we have been working with China’s leading think-tank, the Development Research Center, to define opportunities for cooperation.
Path #2: technology and innovation
The second path, technology and innovation, is vital for economic development and more sustainable energy use. And it’s where we can add substantial value.
While technology continues to revolutionize energy, it will be decades before renewable energies contribute appreciably. Clearly, ultra-clean oil must be our priority.
Yesterday, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli emphasized that innovation must be at the core of future development.
With that goal in mind, we have been working with car manufacturers on futuristic engine-fuel systems that minimize emissions while delivering exceptional mileage. On similar lines, Chinese scientists in our Research Center here in Beijing are innovating both upstream and downstream technologies.
In fact, today Saudi Aramco will sign a technology agreement with the premiere Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Path #3: energy cooperation
The Kingdom’s long-standing energy relations with China extend far beyond oil supply – which brings me to the third path.
Our cooperation ranges from investments in refineries to procurement, project management, and locating our regional hub in Beijing. But we want to make these ties much stronger.
We furnish 20 percent of China’s crude oil imports – about one million barrels a day. But there’s a significant gap in what we are doing now, and what we can offer.
Our investments in China’s entire oil value chain – integrating supply, refining, chemicals, lubes, distribution and marketing – don’t match our supply. Bridging this disparity will yield better efficiencies, innovation and environmental protection.
Walking the walk
Ladies and gentlemen, during the G20 Summit last November, President Xi said: “Instead of talking the talk, we must walk the walk.”
And during his landmark meeting with King Salman two months ago in Saudi Arabia, both leaders pledged action.
Our longstanding friendship spans energy, academic and cultural exchange, and trade. And like other nations, both seek to grow amid challenging new realities.
And I am confident that the new level of partnership that was reached in January will yield greater prosperity not only for our two nations, but for the people of the world – for generations to come.
Saudi Aramco is committed to go the extra mile and will stay the course on this exciting journey of transformation. I look forward to our next steps together. Xie-xie.