Saudi Arabia’s King Salman commences month-long Asia tour

Riyadh/Kuala Lumpur: Last year Saudi Arabia had announced an ambitious economic reforms plan to overcome the financial losses it faced due to the slide in crude oil prices in the global market. To attract investments for this plan, Saudi Arabia’s ‘King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’ has decided on a tour of Asian countries. The tour that began on Sunday is said to be month-long and  King Salman would be visiting Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China.  

saudi-malaysia_gulftoday‘King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’, who has taken over as king from the royal family two years ago, has undertaken an economic reform plan called ‘Vision 2030’. The plan aims for an ambitious objective to revolutionize the oil dependent economic system. As a part of this reform program, part of shares from Saudi Arabia’s largest oil company ‘Armco’ is to be out for sale. Apart from this, efforts to boost foreign investments in Saudi Arabia’s industrial sector are also being made. 

King Salman’s tour is believed to be planned with the objective of seeking financial aid from Asian countries for the economic reforms. Each of the four countries which are a part of the tour, are the top importers of oil from Saudi Arabia. 

The tour is to focus on giving a boost to cooperation in trade and pull investments in other sectors along with the oil sector with these nations, informed sources. 

During his Asia tour, ‘King Salman’ arrived at Kuala Lumpur, the capitol city of Malaysia. He was welcomed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak and King Mohammed. King Salman was felicitated by an army unit by him a guard of honour. King Salman had been accompanied by 10 ministers, 25 princes, 100 bodyguards and another 1500 visitors as a part of this delegation. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulla had visited Malaysia 11 years ago.

King Salman plans to commence his Indonesia visit, post his 3-day visit to Malaysia. While economic cooperation will be the prime focus of this visit, a mutual agreement on Saudi Arabia’s construction projected of an oil refinery is expected to be signed with Indonesia. This visit proves to be crucial as the someone from the Saudi Royal family is visiting Indonesia after nearly 46 years. 

The  objective of the Japan and China tour, is to increase investments in Saudi Arabia. It is said that Japan has shown an interest in investing in Asia and Africa, therefore,Saudi Arabia could make use of this opportunity to attract investments. China is the biggest importer of oil from Saudi Arabia, and thus, its position is indispensable.

Last year Saudi Arabia‘s influential Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, during his visit to China, had signed 15 agreements. During his visit, King Salman would attempt to take these agreements to another level, claim analysts.

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