Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, and Prime Minister deputizing for Custodian of the Two Holy mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, assumed the honor of pressing over the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Riyadh Summit. The esteemed summit, a testament to the enduring friendship and cooperation between GCC states and ASEAN, convened leaders and heads of delegations from these distinguished orgnizations.
The Crown Prince personally received the leaders and delegates as they arrived at the summit's venue in venue in Riyadh. An early highlight of the event was a group photograph that brought together HRH the Crown Prince delivered a significant speech, reflecting the importance and purpose of this gathering.
Promoting Cooperation, Prosperity, and Peace
In his opening speech, the Crown Prince expressed his delight in welcoming leaders GCC states and ASEAN to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He underlined the significance of the summit, emphasizing that its purpose was to bolster cooperation and partnership between the GCC and ASEAN members. The central goal, he reiterated, is to serve the interest of the people, increase development opportunities, and ensure security and stability in the region.
HRH the Crown Prince took note of the distressing escalation of violence in Gaza, which had been a source of concern during the summit. He reaffirmed the collective stance that condemns the targeting of civilians regardless of the pretext and stressed the vital importance of adhering to international humanitarian law. HRH emphasized the urgency of halting military operations against civilians that can facilitate the return of stability and a lasting peace for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders was underscored as a just solution that would ultimately lead to security and prosperity for all.
Economic Milestones and Shared Growth
In terms of economic achievements, the Grown Prince noted that the collective GDP of GCC and ASEAN countries now exceeds $7.8 trillion. Both the GCC and ASEAN have witnessed robust economic growth, with economies of GCC countries and ASEAN nations growing by 7.3% and 5.7%, respectively, during 2022. These positive trends have fueled a shared commitment to fostering a more prosperous economy.
He also highlighted the flourishing trade relations between GCC and ASEAN countries. Trade volume with ASEAN countries, which amounts to $137 billion, has reached 8% of the GCC's global trade. The GCC's exports to ASEN countries make up 9% of its total exports, while its imports from ASEN account for 6% of the GCC's overall imports.
Over the past two decades, GCC nations invested 4% of their total foreign investments in ASEAN countries, equivalent to $75 billion. Conversely, ASEAN's investment in the GCC constitutes 3.4% of the total foreign direct investments in GCC countries, amounting to $24.8 billion.
A Vision for the Future
HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman shared his vision for strengthening economic relations, capitalizing on available opportunities, and expanding cooperation in various fields. He highlighted the significance of the human resources, commercial prospects, and promising investment projects within the two organization.
The Crown Prince lauded the level of coordination and cooperation exhibited by GCC and ASEAN nations in response to international developments. He affirmed their shared goal and commitment to advance joint action in pursuit of mutual objectives and the aspirations of their people.
The Kingdom's bid to host Expo 2030 in Riyadh was appreciated and acknowledged by the summit attendees, indicating the strong support of the GCC and ASEAN countries for this endeavor.
In conclusion, the Crown Prince recognized the substantial role of GCC and ASEAN countries as safe and reliable sources of energy that contribute to global energy market stability. The attendees were united in striving for sustainable clean energy technologies and petrochemical supply chains. The aim is to maximize the utilization of logistical resources and infrastructure, promote cooperation in tourism and cultural activities, enhance people-to-people connectivity, and establish partnerships in the business sectors across the two organizations.
In closing, HRH the Crown Prince reiterated his welcome to the summit participants, expressing hope that the event would lead to tangible results, further expanding cooperation across various domains for the betterment of the peoples and the betterment of the peoples and prosperity of the nations.
May the blessings of people and mercy accompany the leaders and delegates of the GCC and ASEAN nations as they convene to foster collaboration, prosperity, and peace in the region and the world.