Annual Saudi-China Trade Surges, as Chinese Brands lead in GCC Markets

28 Nov 2023

By Tia Zhang, Chief Express Logistics Officer, AJEX Logistics Services.

Due to increasing trade volume between China and the GCC, the race for seamless logistical solutions is rising in the region.

In the dynamic world of global trade, a quiet revolution is unfolding, reshaping the economic landscape of the Middle East, particularly across the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). At the heart of this transformation is the burgeoning e-commerce sector, fueled by an ever-strengthening partnership between Saudi Arabia and China. As Chief Express Logistics Officer at AJEX Logistics Services, I've observed first-hand the surge in Chinese brands within our market, a testament to the deepening ties between these two powerful economies.

The Middle East is no stranger to trade, but the scale and pace at which e-commerce is growing is unprecedented. This is especially true for Saudi Arabia, a nation that is not just embracing digital transformation but is at the vanguard of it. The Vision 2030 initiative is more than a roadmap: it's a bold declaration of the country's commitment to innovation and a digital-first economy.

Chinese e-commerce giants like Alibaba and, along with independent players like SHEIN are capitalizing on this shift. Their success in the region isn't just because of the affinity for trendy and cost-effective products among the Middle East's youthful population. It's also a result of the meticulous construction of a logistical framework that ensures the swift and secure delivery of goods. And here, AJEX stands as a pillar of this framework, bridging the gap between Chinese exporters and the Middle Eastern market.

The exponential growth of trade volume between Saudi Arabia and China is not by chance. It's the outcome of a shared vision to grow closer economically. The statistics speak for themselves: exports from China to Saudi Arabia have been climbing annually at a rate of 14.3% over the last two decades. And when you consider the high internet penetration rates in the region—exceeding 90%—the potential for e-commerce is massive.

Our role at AJEX is to harness this potential. We're not just a logistics company; we're architects of a new economic corridor between the Middle East and China. The launch of our cross-border solutions for imports and exports is a game-changer, providing the arteries through which the lifeblood of e-commerce flows.

The numbers are more than just impressive; they're a narrative of change. A 40% growth in e-commerce sales, a 76% increase in online transactions, and a staggering 60% of purchases made through the internet—these figures are a clear indication of the region's pivot towards a digital economy, with Chinese products playing a leading role.

But it's not just about moving goods; it's about moving them efficiently. Our International E-commerce Express (ICX) and International Road Express (IRX) are revolutionizing the way businesses send and distribute shipments from China to the Middle East. With delivery times ranging from just four to seven days, we're setting a new standard for speed and reliability.

As we look to the future, the implications for the Middle East's logistics industry are profound. AJEX isn't just driving economic growth; we're forging lasting partnerships. We're at the forefront of a logistics revolution that is not only transforming the e-commerce landscape but is also cementing a bond between Saudi Arabia and China that will drive prosperity for decades to come. The growth we've seen is just the beginning. As the world watches, we're ready to redefine what's possible in global trade and logistics.

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