Saudi Arabia mulls energy investment in Vietnam

By Hoai Thu   October 21, 2023 | 12:31 am PT
Saudi Arabia mulls energy investment in Vietnam
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) speaks with Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud in Saudi Arabia on Oct. 20, 2023. Photo by Minh Tien
The government of Saudi Arabia will consider investing in Vietnam’s energy sector, especially renewables, and its large companies have also shown interest in the field.

The crown prince and prime minister of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, told Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh Friday that he would instruct the country’s sovereign fund to study the possibility of investing in renewable energy in Vietnam.

He added without elaborating that a global energy corporation based in Saudi Arabia wants to invest in Vietnam.

Chinh, who is visiting Saudi Arabia, urged Saudi funds to consider investing in large projects in Vietnam, especially the green economy, innovation, technology, manufacturing, and renewables.

Saudi Arabian state-owned energy behemoth Aramco is looking for opportunities to build a refinery in Vietnam, vice president Yasser M. Mufti told Chinh Thursday.

At a meeting with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Friday too Chinh said renewable energy is a key sector in which Vietnam wants to partner with Qatar.

The two leaders agreed to set up joint working groups for digital transformation, renewable energy and infrastructure, and create favorable conditions for people of both countries to enter the other with ease.

Chinh also met with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and called for that country’s funds to invest in Vietnam’s green transformation, digital transformation and circular economy.

The UAE leader said he would ask funds to seek investment opportunities in Vietnam.

The two sides agreed to speed up negotiations and sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

At a meeting with Omani Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Shihab bin Tarik Al Said, Chinh sought more access for Vietnamese goods and services in that country.

Al Said agreed to create favorable conditions for partnerships in the halal food industry and increase the effectiveness of the Vietnam Oman Investment fund.

Chinh was in Saudi Arabia from Oct. 18 to 20 for the first ever summit between ASEAN and Gulf Cooperation Council countries and a bilateral visit.

Leaders of Vietnam and Saudi Arabia agreed to further strengthen political and diplomatic relations by increasing exchanges at all levels and promoting trade.

Chinh proposed that the two countries should create a legal framework to ensure a strong partnership in human resources.

He invited the crown prince to Vietnam, and MBS, as the latter is commonly known, said he would visit next year when the two countries celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations.

Saudi Arabia is a key economic partner for Vietnam in the region. In the first seven months of this year their trade rose by 7.4% year-on-year to US$1.6 billion.

Many Saudi Arabian corporations have invested directly or indirectly in Vietnam, including Zamil Steel Group and chemical manufacturer Sabic Group.

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