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China and Saudi Arabia Strengthen Ties

A Chinese company has been selected to build 200 new schools in Saudi Arabia that when completed will accommodate 153,000 students. The Saudi Ministry of Education chose the China Railway-15 Bureau Group Corporation in a competitive tender against several other international firms and local conglomerates including the Saudi Bin Laden Group. The new schools are a centerpiece of Saudi King Abdullah’s Project for the Development of General Education which aims to raise standards of education in the kingdom. In the past, similar projects have been awarded to local Saudi companies, but an Education Ministry official told the Saudi Press Agency that on too many occasions the Saudi firms did not adhere to the timetable or ended work before the project was completed. The ministry is currently undertaking 3,500 different initiatives at an estimated cost of $5.3 billion as part of King Abdullah’s project to improve education. Relations between China – the world’s second largest oil importer, and Saudi Arabia – the worlds top oil producer, are concentrated mainly on energy cooperation but China hopes to be able to increase bilateral trade from an estimated $15 billion in 2005 to $20 billion in 2010. Since 2001 China has signed some 3,000 contracts totaling $2.7 billion with the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which includes Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Read on:
http://www.themedialine.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsID=25937 [1]