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Saudi Arabia’s KAPSARC, China’s CNPC ink agreement to advance energy research and innovation


The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), a leading Riyadh-based advisory think tank, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday with the Economics & Technology Research Institute (ETRI) — a research institute affiliated with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) — to foster cross-regional cooperation in energy research.

KAPSARC President Fahad Alajlan said, “It’s a pleasure to reaffirm a partnership that has been strong and will continue to be strong. This is a partnership that is an aspiration for the developing world as we enter a post-COVID and post-Paris Climate Agreement era.

“We see a lot of common interest and alignment between China’s and Saudi Arabia’s position when it comes to energy and climate. We both understand and reiterate the idea of common but differentiated responsibility when it comes to climate change.”

Under the agreement, the two institutions will strengthen their world-class research by collaborating on priority topics, including energy economics, technology, policy, and the environment, for the mutual benefit of both organizations and the global community.

This will be done through joint workshops, ideas exchange between experts, the establishment of international cooperation and knowledge exchange platforms, and peer reviews of research and policy papers.

Dr. Fahad Alturki, vice president of knowledge and analysis at KAPSARC, explained that “research is fundamentally collaborative, and I look forward to driving deeper tangible cooperation in research fellowships and strengthening the collaboration on innovation and knowledge exchange between our two institutions.”

The priority research topics signed off on include energy policy, climate change, energy transition, energy efficiency and productivity, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and energy issues under the Belt and Road Initiative, among others.

In the spirit of the signed agreement, Yu Guo, president of CNPC ETRI, noted, “As important energy producers and consumers in the world, China and Saudi Arabia play an important role in maintaining the stability of the international energy market, addressing climate change, and promoting the realization of energy green transformation goals.”

The MoU was signed ahead of the inaugural Chinese-Saudi Summit planned to take place this month.

“Ahead of President Xi Jinping’s return visit to Saudi Arabia, this MoU will reinvigorate collaboration between these two advisory think tanks at a critical time for the world of energy,” highlighted Brian Efird, KAPSARC’s director of strategic partnerships.