Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be back in Beijing and to join this panel on opening up and cooperation.
When this Forum met for the first time 20 years ago, China was preparing to take a significant step by joining the WTO.
We admire China's phenomenal achievements since that time … as this country's expanded role in the global economy has proven to be of great benefit to the world.
Not only has China opened its market … it has helped create enormous growth opportunities for developing and developed economies.
Today, China is at another milestone moment with the Belt and Road Initiative.
And I foresee a similar outcome … as I expect the Belt and Road Initiative to be mutually beneficial to China and to the partner countries … linking more than 60% of the world's population.
That will be a remarkable outcome.
Clearly, having adequate … reliable … affordable … and clean energy will be critical to the continued development of China and the broader global economy.
A key area of the Belt and Road Initiative that I believe would benefit enormously by receiving greater attention is the energy equation for this far-reaching strategic blueprint.
For the record, let me reiterate that I believe oil and gas will continue to be a vital part of the energy mix both here in China … and globally for a long time to come … even as alternatives make progress, albeit starting from a very small base.
I want to stress that among competing energy sources, oil and gas best meet the adequacy, reliability and affordability requirements laid down by society.
However, we also fully recognize that our industry needs to do more to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of oil and gas … and let me stress … we are fully committed to this goal.
I believe that a pragmatic mix of cleaner oil and gas and the new and evolving energy sources will help achieve both of China's cleaner energy and economic goals.
And this reality … is why lightening the carbon footprint of oil is among the highest priorities of Saudi Aramco.
Indeed, we are devoting considerable R&D time and funding to this priority … including developing ultra clean engine-fuel technologies … creating hydrogen-rich synthetic fuels derived from oil … advancing carbon capture utilization and storage … and encouraging international cooperation through the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative or OGCI … of which CNPC and Total are members.
We also believe that increased cooperation between China … as the world's largest importer of oil … and Saudi Arabia … as the world's largest exporter of oil … will be critical to China's energy security going forward.
We are already working with multiple partners here in China.
Indeed, we believe … as part of the Belt and Road Initiative … a great strategic move would be to strongly connect the oil and gas of Saudi Arabia … and more broadly the Middle East … with Belt and Road partner countries.
Saudi Aramco is ready to play a leading role as part of this strategic effort and make more investments … including in energy-related infrastructure … to ensure China … as well as all the Belt and Road partner countries … have access to reliable long-term energy supplies.
We believe that connecting countries through the Belt and Road is not just about increasing trade and business …
Rather it is about the positive impact of connecting people … connecting cultures … and helping to bring the world closer together for everyone's mutual benefit.