China Development Forum

SPEECH: China Development Forum 2024, remarks by Amin Nasser, Aramco president and CEO

Our dedication to China’s energy security is set in stone.

SPEECH: China Development Forum 2024, remarks by Amin Nasser, Aramco president and CEO

Your Excellencies Mr. Long and Madam Guo, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, zǎo shang hǎo, and good morning. 


It is a privilege to be in Beijing with strategic partners and dear friends. All of us at Aramco greatly admire China’s phenomenal accomplishments in recent decades, especially its remarkable economic growth and ability to overcome many challenges.


Indeed, these are the moments when the value of trusted partners is truly revealed. And at Aramco, we are proud to be one of China’s most reliable energy suppliers. This reliability is at the heart of our deepening mutual respect and cooperation, and I believe it is why China has become Saudi Arabia’s top trading partner.


Let me also be very clear. 


Aramco’s commitment to China’s long-term energy security, which will drive this great nation’s further growth and development, is set in stone. It is equally clear to us that with China’s emphasis on high quality development, even greater investment and cooperation opportunities are emerging. 


However, while energy remains a strategic pillar of our rock-solid relationship, our vision of the future extends far beyond investing and cooperating in energy alone. Here we have noted with keen interest what Premier Li recently called the “strategic emerging industries and future-oriented industries”. 


In fact, we see five other key areas where win-win investment and cooperation opportunities are expected to be enormous, consistently working with local partners. 


First, chemicals. China is already a powerhouse representing 40% of global sales.  


Aramco has developed a formidable position as well, with our majority ownership of one of the world’s leading chemicals players, SABIC. This is crucial to our plans to increase liquids-to-chemicals throughput to four million barrels per day by 2030. 


So I believe both our strategic goals in chemicals are well-aligned. And we are already seeing Aramco action on the ground. There were two agreements last year for multi-billion dollar liquids to chemicals investments in China.


One is our acquisition of an interest in the Rongsheng Petrochemicals Company in Zhejiang Province for $3.4 billion. The other is our partnership in Liaoning Province at a cost of approximately $12 billion.


We are also pleased that SABIC’s partnership in Fujian is on-track to commence construction of a major chemicals facility at an estimated cost of $6.4 billion. And we are actively developing additional investment opportunities with our Chinese partners to help build a world-leading chemicals sector.


Second, demand for high lower GHG emissions materials – especially advanced composites and non-metallics in general – is growing rapidly.


Here it is worth highlighting our NEXCEL center of excellence for non-metallic technologies, right here in Beijing, with our very capable partners at the China Building Materials Academy playing a central role.


NEXCEL is carrying out outstanding research to develop less greenhouse gas intensive materials to complement more intensive conventional materials, especially in construction and buildings.


Third, these efforts are consistent with President Xi’s observation that sustainable development is the “golden key” to future success. And we agree with China’s pragmatic and prudent approach to energy transition.


I believe there are wide-ranging opportunities to jointly develop advanced GHG emission reduction technologies. In turn, this would help to protect the environment and create new industrial value chains with global impact.


Fourth, lower carbon energy is clearly an area of global importance, including the climate ambitions of both our nations. China has distinct strengths in renewables and critical materials, while Aramco and Saudi Arabia have a clear interest in solar, wind, hydrogen, and electro fuels.


These areas have great long-term potential, and combining our strengths could match our ambitions.


The fifth area covers multiple domains, with advanced technologies underlying many of them. We both have major ambitions in digital technologies, and Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies in general. Another strategic area for collaboration is venture capital.


Recently, we more than doubled the funding for our venture capital arm to $7.5 billion, with a focus on industrial innovation, disruptive technologies, and sustainability. So there are attractive opportunities for China and Aramco to join hands in all these areas.


Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, our dedication to China’s energy security is set in stone.


And China has a vitally important place in our global investment strategy. In fact, Aramco was among the leading direct investors in China last year.


But we are not mere investors, and China is not just a market to us. We want to be a partner of first resort in China’s economic development journey, as new opportunities clearly come into focus.


Crucially, I have no doubt that elevating our relationship to undreamed of heights would help turbo-charge China’s efforts to meet the hopes and ambitions of its people.


And advance China toward a high quality economy and future.


Thank you, and xiè xie.


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